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Mayor Michael L. Hansen signed a proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster through July 31, 2020. The proclamation encourages all vulnerable citizens of Newton to continue to limit their activities outside of the home. The proclamation also allows City of Newton offices and buildings to enter a phased reopening to safely provide customer service to the citizens and the general public. The City is encouraging those who can to complete their business with the City online at www.newtongov.org or over the phone.
The full proclamation is online in its entirety and substantive information can be found below:
WHEREAS, one of the greatest responsibilities of any elected official is the protection of the electorate served and the protection of the greater public health and safety; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 poses a serious and potentially deadly threat to the public and the public health as the Federal Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) has noted that serious illness occurs in 16% of cases with older people and people of all ages with severe chronic medical conditions — like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example — seeming to be at a higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness and noting that the World Health Organization has determined COVID-19 to be a pandemic; and
WHEREAS, across the globe, the disease has been dramatically spread through contact by those with no known correlation to any affected areas or without contact with those known to be infected, called “community spread” and the Iowa Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) has now identified community spread in central Iowa and has issued new recommendations for individuals with underlying conditions, and all Iowans should be prepared for cancellations and disruptions in routine activities; and
WHEREAS, a high rate of infection has been shown to overwhelm medical systems throughout the world and numerous governmental entities and epidemiologists have stated that community spread in the United States poses the same risk of overwhelming American medical systems; and
WHEREAS, the IDPH has recommended the immediate implementation of several mitigation measures to have the most significant impact on slowing the spread of the virus, including avoiding large gatherings of more than 10 people, and considering adjustments for smaller gatherings with high risk groups; and
WHEREAS, Iowa Code Section 372.14(2) and the City of Newton Code of Ordinances Section 34.03 grant the Mayor powers in emergency circumstances when public danger exists to take extraordinary steps to protect the public health and safety.
NOW, THEREFORE, IN CONSIDERATION OF THE FORGOING AND OTHER VALID EMERGENT CONCERNS, I, MICHAEL L. HANSEN, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEWTON, PROCLAIM THE FOLLOWING:
I hereby determine that a STATE OF PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER EMERGENCY continues to exist throughout the entire City of Newton until 11:59 p.m. on August 31, 2020 and do hereby ORDER and DIRECT the following:
I strongly encourage all vulnerable citizens of Newton, including those with preexisting medical conditions and those older than 65, to continue to limit their activities outside of their home, including visits to businesses and other establishments and their participation in gatherings of any size and any purpose. And I encourage all citizens of Newton to limit their in-person interaction with vulnerable citizens and to exercise particular care and caution when engaging in any necessary interaction.
I further determine and direct the Police Chief to enforce the ORDERS and DIRECTION contained in this entire proclamation.
This Proclamation of emergency and public danger is part of an ongoing response of the City of Newton to protect public health and safety and may be modified or superseded with more restrictive proclamations at any time as circumstances warrant.
Per Section 34.99 of the Code of Ordinances, the public is advised that the violation of a mayoral proclamation of emergency or of any subsidiary proclamation thereto evidencing the exercise of emergency powers or of any rule or order issued pursuant thereto by the mayor or the city administrator or of any order issued pursuant thereto by any peace officer or of any directive issued by designated emergency services personnel pursuant thereto shall constitute a violation of that section and shall be punishable as a misdemeanor as provided by section 34.99 of the Code of Ordinances.
All City Public Buildings: Effective August 1, 2020 anyone entering a city public building for the purpose of contacting and conducting business with city staff, will be required to wear a protective mask as defined by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
City Hall & Newton Waterworks’ Lobby will open to the public on August 3, 2020. The public can continue to access services via phone or email. The Council Chambers will remain closed to the public through September 7, 2020.
Newton Fire Department lobby area opened to the public on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Signs are posted with instructions and social distancing measures are in place. 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. of each day, the lobby will be open for high-risk populations.
Newton Police Department lobby area opened to the public on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Signs are posted with instructions and social distancing measures are in place. 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. of each day, the lobby will be open for high-risk populations.
Newton Public Library, which falls under the direction of the Newton Public Library Board of Trustees, is currently in Phase 2 of Re-Opening. The Library is currently open for computer reservations, Diecut/Accucut appointments, notary and proctoring appointments, and library card application/account appointments only. These appointments can be made during the shortened library hours of Monday-Thursday 10a.m. - 6p.m., Friday 10a.m. - 5p.m. and Saturday 10a.m. - 2p.m. Curbside Pickup service will be expanded and available Monday-Saturday within the Library’s shortened hours. Questions on appointments should be directed to the Library at 641-792-4108. Masks are required when entering the Library building and must remain on for the duration of the appointment.
Newton Public Works Department lobby area opened to the public on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Signs are posted with instructions and social distancing measures are in place. 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. of each day, the lobby will be open for high-risk populations.
All City Parks opened to the general public effective June 1, 2020. This includes the following: restrooms, playgrounds, shelter rentals, clubhouses, youth and adult baseball, softball and soccer fields.
Maytag Pool opened in a limited capacity on June 26, 2020. Detailed plans and operating procedures are posted on the City’s website. The last day for the pool to be open to the public is August 10, 2020.
Westwood Golf Course is open to the public and the clubhouse opened in a limited fashion on June 1, 2020.
Newton Municipal Airport: All public areas at the Newton Municipal Airport will be open to flight crews, and general aviation, pilots and flight students.
Newton Sanitary Landfill has remained open.
Office of the Governor: All closures and restrictions in accordance with the State Public Health Emergency Declaration proclamation signed by Governor Kim Reynolds the 24th day of July, 2020.