GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
The CDC recommended no gatherings of more than ten people just days ago to limit the transmission of the Coronavirus, and while needed to secure public health, the effects of this measure have decimated local economies.
Now, the city of Grand Junction is committed to the health and vitality of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic with daily Media Advisories every weekday at 11 am. These meetings are open to the local media, and citizens can join in on the briefing via Facebook Live.
COVID-19 Incident Commander, Ken Watkins says the briefings are to communicate with the community about what the city and county are doing to support the local economy and continue to provide core municipal services the community expects. But, communication works both ways. Commander Watkins says, “We’re asking the community to respond back, ask questions. What do they need to hear from their city government?”
The community has spoken, and one of the primary concerns is business cash flow. Grand Junction Mayor, Rick Taggert says, “Obviously, we’re very concerned with the larger chains, but obviously, our focus is on the small local retailers that really depends upon this local market.”
The Mayor also told KREX, the city is working with economic development partners to develop solutions for Grand Junction’s economic issues, and the details will be explained at a special Council meeting Monday, March 23 at 6 pm.
Now, the second part of the community briefing today, Friday, March 20th focuses on the continuation of core municipal services. City Manager, Greg Caton says, “What we are doing here at the city of Grand Junction is planning for city essential services moving forward. So, our community members, rest assured, that when they get up in the morning, and then turn on the faucet, turn on the shower, water’s going to come out of that faucet.” The city is getting this done by following strict safety measures for city employees to lower risk of infection including:
Social distancing in the workplace
Vigilant cleaning of City facilities
Teleworking options for City employees
Personal protective equipment for first responders and public safety personnel
Implementing and updating the pandemic flu plan
For more information on community updates or changes click here: http://www.gjcity.org/COVID-19.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, the city has employed the Incident Command System (ICS). “It’s a scalable system we use everyday in the fire department for incidents, and so, it makes sense to use it for this event because we know this is a large event, and it’s going to likely get larger, and it could be long-term”, says COVID-19 Incident Commander Watkins.
The Department of Homeland Security says the ICS is a management system designed to enable effective and efficient domestic incident management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure.
City Manager Caton says the city of Grand Junction employed the Incident Command System 2 weeks ago.