There is nothing more important to your Mayor and City Council, no task more urgent during this Holiday Season, than reaching out for your help in fighting a worsening health emergency. We extend our deepest sympathy to those who have already fallen ill, lost loved ones, and suffered on so many levels from this pandemic. And, with the upcoming Holidays, we are facing a future situation that could get much worse. But we have the opportunity and the power to prevent that worst case scenario from happening.
We are writing to emphasize the true seriousness of the current crisis, even as the first vaccines arrive in our community. The Council is hearing very worried advance reports of ICU bed and staff shortages from our local medical community. COVID cases are continuing to spike after Thanksgiving gatherings, and our County Public Health Officer has expressed alarm that the rate of infection will get even worse after the upcoming holidays, if people do not conscientiously follow the State rules:
- Stay at home. Do not gather with others, especially not inside, and limit socially distanced outdoor gatherings to your “bubble.”
- Wear a clean mask always when out of the house and anywhere near others.
- Stay six feet away from anyone not in your own household, except for brief periods (like passing someone in the grocery store or on the street while masked.)
- Wash your hands frequently.
We know it can be upsetting, disorienting and stressful to follow the rules during this beyond difficult 2020 Holiday Season. But doing so will help keep your loved ones and your community as healthy as possible in the battle against this potentially fatal virus. It is crucial that we do all we can to keep our collective infection rate down. We have it within our power to protect each other and our hospitals from being overwhelmed. This will enable our local economy to open back up as soon as possible. Working together, we can do it!
We wish you and your friends and family a safe and healthy holiday season and New Year. May 2021 be a much better year!
Warmest Regards,Mayor Heidi Harmon and Council Members Carlyn Christianson, Jan Marx, Andy Pease, and Erica A. Stewart.