City of Salem: Roadmap for Limited Re-Opening of In-Person Services

Posted on June 29, 2020

While the City is preparing to reopen some offices that have been closed to in-person service, we’re mindful of the guidance from public health agencies about slowing the spread of the virus by maintaining social distancing, frequent cleaning of shared surfaces, and wearing masks.  To keep track of Oregon Health Authority and Governor’s guidance on re-opening, see: https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19

Many City services were unchanged by COVID-19, keeping our community healthy, safe and clean.  City parks remained open.  Police and Fire responded to calls.  Public Works maintained streets, kept our drinking water flowing, and made sure our toilets flushed.  About two thirds of our employees kept serving our community in-person.

For services impacted by COVID-19 and Stay Home, Save Lives executive orders, the City quickly improved our on-line services and telework capacity.  We knew customers needed to do business with the City regardless of whether or not an office was open.  On-line building permits, bill paying, and other applications have all kept going at high levels.   The Library introduced curbside pick-ups in late May.

What is the City’s plan for reopening?

For some residents, on-line services are not a choice.  Our plan is to slowly re-open in-person services to protect our community by limiting the spread of the Coronavirus.  We’re starting with our highest-volume in-person services at the Civic Center

Beginning July 6, we will open in-person cashier windows for bill payment, permit application center, and parks reservations service.

How will public health be protected as the City reopens?

Our primary concern is the health and safety of our community and of our employees.  The City of Salem’s plan to reopen City offices and facilities centers on the Governor’s public health framework for reopening Oregon.  The State’s Re-Opening Framework uses robust testing and contact tracing, considers healthcare system capacity, and plans for health and safety.

Our customer-facing spaces now have barriers to reduce the transmission of COVID19.  Customers will be asked to maintain social distancing.  Masks will be required when conducting business indoors.  We’ll ask for your name so we can help with contact tracing should anyone else who visits the Civic Center that day become ill or come into contact with anyone who may be ill with the virus.  We’ll be doing voluntary self-checks, wearing gloves if we’re handling cash, and cleaning shared surfaces frequently.

What comes next?

The City’s next group of services with in-person customers and high volumes of interaction are Municipal Court and the Police Department’s lobby. Both will reopen sometime after our primary customer serving operations.

Because Center 50+ and the Library serve populations vulnerable to COVID-19 and the spaces present challenges for social distancing, we don’t have a specific reopen date for Center 50+ and the Library.  We understand the importance of both in our community.  Please visit Center 50+ and the Library virtually.  Center 50+ has remote bingo, online fitness, online computer, music, history, and arts and craft classes.  While in-person services and spaces are not available, Salem Public Library offers Virtual Library services, available 24/7 from wherever you are. You can download free ebooks, audiobooks, stream movies, do research, find information, study, and more.

What services are available on-line?

Get information about accessing the following City services online:

Go to the City’s webpage and the COVID-19 banner for information on how to sign up for on-line services.

What happens if the number of cases increases and emergency measures are re-introduced for our counties by the State of Oregon?

Along with public health agencies, we will be monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases in our region.  If the public health agencies determine more restrictive measures are needed to ensure our safety, should another outbreak occur, we will respond to their direction to limit exposure and reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.  Stay up to date on the status of City services and programs on our home page at cityofsalem.net.

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