Coronavirus: Mayor Carter declares state of local emergency, announces closure of libraries, parks & rec facilities

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Mayor Carter declared a state of local emergency on Sunday amid the spread of coronavirus COIVD-19.  Beginning Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27, all Saint Paul Public Libraries, Parks, and Recreation Center facilities — including the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory — will close to the public.  In accordance with guidance issued today by the CDC, the City of Saint Paul will not issue new permits that involve gatherings of 50 or more people.

“We must take bold and immediate action to address the local impacts of this pandemic,” said Mayor  Carter. “These extraordinary steps are critical to protecting our public health and safety, and are not taken lightly.” 

Worker’s compensation coverage will be provided for Saint Paul firefighters and police officers who are exposed to or contract COVID-19 on duty.  Mayor Carter has requested Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher suspend all evictions in the City of Saint Paul. These measures follow the March 12 announcement that water shutoffs will be suspended for 30 days. 

The local emergency declaration permits Saint Paul Emergency Management to request and coordinate the appropriate aid and resources from surrounding jurisdictions, including the Ramsey County Division of Emergency Management, Homeland Security, and the State of Minnesota as needed. It also permits city departments to quickly mobilize available resources and conduct immediate purchasing and contracting. 

Leadership in both departments are working to develop plans to maintain essential core functions such as the continued care of animals at Como Park Zoo and working with Ramsey County and Saint Paul Public Schools to respond to the needs of children and families following statewide school closures this week. 

In accordance with guidance released today by the CDC, the City of Saint Paul will not issue new permits that involve gatherings of 50 or more people.

Saint Paul’s emergency responders are treating and transporting suspected COVID-19 patients from their homes to hospitals, and there is no work from home option for officers protecting our city.  Mayor Carter has directed the City of Saint Paul’s Office of Human Resources to follow the guidelines under Minnesota Statute 176.011 and ensure that any City of Saint Paul Fire Fighter or Police Officer who is exposed to or contracts COVID-19 while on active duty will be covered by worker’s compensation and the City of Saint Paul will accept those COVID-19 related claims of exposure.  

The emergency declaration can be found here.  For more info about the COVID-19, visit the Minnesota Department of Health website.

The Minnesota Department of Health has set up hotlines open from 7 am to 7 pm to answer questions about COVID-19. For school or child care questions, call 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504 . For health questions call 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903.