The City of Newton has no higher priority than to protect the health and safety of our citizens and our employees. We are actively and closely monitoring the coronavirus situation, and we are working hard to stay on top of this evolving situation.
The public health community continues to monitor closely the emergence of the virus named “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19). The health, safety and well-being of our community is always of utmost importance to us, and we know that many of you may have concerns with the recent outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus. We hope that this information will help address those concerns.
We recognize this is an emerging and rapidly evolving situation. Please be assured that the City of Newton is continuing to take proactive measures to support the health and welfare of our citizens and our employees, including increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting public work areas including door handles, workspaces, and all surfaces. We encourage anyone who is sick or has a cough, fever, or other symptoms to stay home and not to attend public meetings or visit City offices.
City Council Meetings are broadcast live on Mediacom channels 12, 85 or 121.12 and live streamed on the City’s website. At the time of the City Council meeting, visit the City’s website and click “I Want To…” > “View” > “Livestream of City Council Meetings”
Most city buildings and offices are open to the public (excluding the Newton Public Library as of March 16, 2020 - see update below) but city staff are encouraging residents to call before visiting a building as we may be able to assist residents via phone or online.
- Newton City Hall (location of the City Administration Office) is open to the public at this time but access is limited to the front lobby. Please call 641-792-2787 as much business can be done over the phone.
- The Newton Police Department is open for business but the public will be restricted to the front lobby. No public tours will be given for the foreseeable future. Non-criminal fingerprinting will not be done. The deadline for pet licenses (cats, dogs and miniature pigs) has been extended to May 1.
- The Newton Fire Department is open for business but the public will be restricted to the front lobby. Public tours to the fire department are suspended until further notice.
- The Newton Public Library is closed as of 8 p.m. on Monday, March 16 and will remain closed through Sunday March 29. A decision on continued closure will be made by Friday, March 27. (Updated on 3/16/ at 2:00 PM)
- The Public Works Building (location of Public Works Department, Community Development and Community Services) is open for business but residents and visitors will be restricted to the front lobby.
- Those seeking permits are asked to complete permit forms online.
- All Newton park shelter rentals are canceled until April 15.
- No photos/passes for Maytag Pool will be issued at this time; passes are still available for purchase online and will be issued at a later date.
- Westwood Golf Course is open as normal at this time.
- The Newton Sanitary Landfill is open for business and operations are planned to continue as normal.
If the CDC and/or the Iowa Department of Health provide updated guidance, we will take appropriate action and communicate those plans via our website and through any other relevant communication channels.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The CDC recommends taking the following preventative actions to lessen the spread of viruses include:
- Stay home if you or a family member is sick. Do not attend public meetings, gatherings, or public offices.
- Please wash your hands frequently.
- When using hand sanitizer, make sure it contains at least 60% alcohol. Be sure to get enough to fully wet your hands, and you’ll notice it takes about 20 seconds for it to fully dry.
- If you are experiencing a fever and shortness of breath, contact your medical office to determine if you need medical care.
- Cover your mouth with your upper arm or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Stay informed and look for information on this virus and situation from reliable and trusted expert sources:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Iowa Department of Public Health
The City of Newton maintains links to these information sources on our website, www.newtongov.org/COVID-19 and urges residents to stay aware of the changing conditions and follow guidance from the experts in public health. Any changes to office hours or services will be posted on our website.
The City of Newton realizes these are unsettling times. One way to combat anxiety caused by these events is to stay informed. If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious and think you may need additional support, please remember dialing 211 can connect you with additional resources to get through these difficult times.