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City of Norris                   Monday 16 March, 2020
PO Box 1090
20 Chestnut Drive                 cityofnorris.com
Norris, TN  37838                    865.494.7645

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) PLANNING AND PRECAUTIONS 

In order to help slow the progression of exposures and illness regarding the COVID-19 virus, the City of Norris is taking some of the measures listed below to protect the Public and City Staff. 

Protection Strategy: (Protection of the High-Risk Population)  

The majority of the population will be exposed at some time.  As a new virus, the world population has no natural immunity.  Prevention measures keep the number of people requiring definitive hospital care below the threshold of maximum hospital capability by delaying exposure rate and extending the duration of the initial illness period.  A reserve of hospital services must be maintained for those other medical emergencies (non-COVID-19) that will compete for beds and life support equipment.  This exposure delay also allows more time for vaccine and treatment options to be developed for those in the high-risk population.

Assumptions:

  • COVID-19 symptoms may not be present, or may be minor, or may be similar to other respiratory illnesses.  Asymptomatic hosts are free to move about in public. 
  • Confirmed cases are initially underreported due to current limitations on testing. 
  • Surface (out of host) survivability conditions and durations for the COVID-19 virus have not been determined (hours-days-weeks?) 
  • By the time we confirm exposure/illnesses in the immediate area, multiple exposures have likely happened and are still in the latent period. 
  • Loss of city staff due to COVID-19 illness, even with minor symptoms, will last for two or more weeks and affect essential city functions. 
  • The 64 and older population in Norris includes 28% of the residents.  Statistically serious results for this portion of the population is not acceptable.  Mitigative action must be taken to limit this result as low as reasonably achievable. 
  • State licensed facilities (schools, nursing home, drug rehab, and assisted living facilities) will follow state guidelines. 

ACTIONS: 
1.      Maintaining Social Distance for the Public and City Staff for non-essential functions.

  • Social Distance is defined as short term (<5 minutes) > 6’ and long term (>6 minutes) eliminate contact in shared ventilation spaces and where droplet deposition could occur on commonly touched surfaces.
  •  Non-Essential meetings or use of city facilities have been suspended beginning Friday 13 March 2020 (except open air parks and green/commons spaces).
  • Essential public interface with city staff to pay bills, apply for permits, etc., will be managed remotely when possible and provide alternatives on a case-by-case basis.  Access into the city office will only be allowed as directed by office staff.
  • Bill Pay Drop Boxes are available outside the City Office and Police Department
  • Pay On Line is available for water bills at cityofnorris.com
  • City Facility Status    City Office Hours (Mon-Fri 8:00 to 4:30) City office Phone 865.494.7645 

City Office – Operational with Restricted Access
Police/Fire – Operational with Restricted Access
Public Works/Animal Shelter – Operational with Restricted Access
Water/Sewer – Operational with Restricted Access (virus is not transmitted in drinking water)
Parks and Commons Areas – Open with Social Distancing Rules in Place (play structures are not disinfected)
Norris Museum and Recreation Room – Closed Indefinitely
Lions Club Pavilion – Restrooms Closed Indefinitely (tables are not disinfected)

2.      Communications

  • City Web Site has a new page for COVID-19 information
  • City Forms will be added to the City Web Site for public access and printing (once printed and completed contact the city office at 865.494.7645 for processing actions.
  • Updates as information becomes available 
3.      Recommended Public Practices
  • Increased use of disinfecting wipes, diaper wipes, paper towels, etc., should go into the garbage not the toilet (Thus preventing increased sewer blockages and worker exposures)
  • Garbage should be bagged for pickup (limit garbage collection staff exposures)
  • Don’t hoard supplies!!! Purchase only what you need.
  •  Limit public interactions, especially non-essential visits to high risk populations
  •  Welfare checks on high risk population, especially those living alone (call or text visit only when necessary)
  • Provide support to high risk population (grocery pickup, mail, bill pays, etc..)
  • Only use paper face masks when you are the infectious host to limit airborne droplet distribution
4.      City Staff Reduction Planning
  • Succession plan for essential functions
  • Work from home options
  •  Mitigation plan if essential function is temporarily affected
  • Mutual Aid Options are in place for Fire, Police, and Water/Sewer
5.      Essential City Functions That Will Continue Unimpaired
  • Fire – Public Protection (Fire/Rescue/EMS)
  • Police – Public Protection (Traffic Accidents/Violent Acts/Aggravated Offenses/Welfare Checks) - Non-critical reporting and investigations will initially be handled over the phone.
  • Public Works (Facility Cleaning/Facility Garbage Collection/Health and Safety Repair Items/Keep Roadways Open)
  • City Office (Payroll/Billing/Bills Payable/Revenue Collection/Vital Records/Communication)
  • Garbage Collection (Vendor Supplied)
  • Water – Purification and Distribution (Potable Water/Fire Protection)
  • Sewer – Collection and Treatment
6.      Web Based Information (available on cityofnorris.com)
 

Links to Informational Websites Regarding the COVID 19 Virus

 

Governor Lee Executive Orders for COVID-19: https://sos.tn.gov/products/division-publications/executive-orders-governor-bill-lee

TN Health Department Page:  https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html 

US Center For Disease Control Page:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html  

World Health Organization Page:  https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses 

Johns Hopkins Page:  https://www.jhsph.edu/covid-19/index.html    

TN Coronavirus Public Information Line: 1.877.587.2945

TN Department of Health:  1.615.741.7247

Vanderbilt Health COVID-19 Hotline: 1.888.312.0847