Dated: March 20, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: SARAH MARTINEZ, CITY CLERK (559) 585-2515
CITY OF HANFORD ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL RESPONSES TO COVID-19
AND EXECUTIVE ORDER N-33-20
HANFORD, CA – In the wake of the issuance of the Governor’s “Stay at Home” order, issued yesterday evening, and several other State and Federal directives and Executive Orders that have been released over the past two (2) weeks, the City of Hanford has already made the determination that all City services are essential services as defined by the references in the Governor’s Order. As such, the City will continue to provide all services as we are able and is already reassigning employees to help cover tasks and public inquires in other divisions. The public should be aware that all lobbies for City facilities have been closed to public access and the appropriate signage is in place to notify citizens how to contact those individual departments by phone to arrange access if needed.
Additionally, the City is taking the following actions, by department, to comply with the mandates:
- Police –
- Limited controlled entry into lobby and no more than 1 person at a time.
- Non-priority calls will be handled by phone.
- When responding to calls, people will be asked to come outside of their residence and to maintain at least 6’ of distance when talking to officer.
- We are asking that all documents, photos, and other evidence, when feasible, be sent electronically to the officers.
- Limiting non-essential contacts with the public.
- Registration, Driver’s license and other expiration type issues will not typically be enforced when they expire around this time period.
- Documenting potential exposures to First Responders
- Limiting contact between different divisions within the Police Department.
- With the exception of the Main entrance to City Hall at the Northwest corner of the building, all other entrances are locked.
- Access to City administration will be limited to pre-arranged meetings.
- The City does not accept paper applications and, accordingly, all applications must be submitted online.
- Community Development
- The front counter is closed
- Citizens are being asked to conduct as much business as possible by email, mail and phone.
- If actual person to person contact is necessary, staff will make an appointment.
- City officials will insist on self-distancing during all inspections and inquire in order to determine if anyone on site has had flu symptoms in the last 24 hours.
- If flu symptoms have been experienced, inspections will need to be rescheduled.
- The City will use photos for some inspections if necessary.
- Planning is assisting in answering the phones and working on projects as usual.
- The City has not received word that HUD has extended any timelines, so Housing will continue to work on their projects.
- Code Enforcement will continue to work on cases, especially substandard and health and safety issues.
- No person to person contact will occur in code enforcement, citations and notices will be sent by mail.
- For additional Planning Procedures, click here.
- For additional Building Division Procedures, click here.
- For additional Building Inspection Procedures click here.
- Finance Department, including Utility Billing will practice reduced staffing, however rotating shifts have been established to minimize any impact on the public.
- Front Counter/Lobby is closed to the public until further notice. Signs have been posted to both the back entrances and front entrances for customers and deliveries.
- Customers who wish to make payments or drop off documents are encouraged to use alternate payment sources such as, mail, drop box (located at front entrance facing Douty Street), or online using credit/debit card.
- To support these alternate options, the City has taken the following actions:
- Online payment limits have been increased from $200 to $400;
- Online payment fees will be waived during this time;
- Drop box payments can be done in cash – envelopes have been provided.
- Water shut-offs will not occur for non-payment during this Executive Order. The City will also be waiving late payment fees.
- Water Meter Staff will be available for any emergency repairs of water services.
- Reducing to code 2 on all flu like symptoms.
- Limiting number of responders coming in contact with anyone.
- Delaying or suspending nonessential activities.
- Restricting access to the lobby and installing a ring device to access administration staff.
- Assisting Buildings Dept with inspections where possible.
- No inspections if someone was in building with flu like symptoms within the last 24 hours.
- No touching surfaces.
- FaceTime for some inspections.
- Public Works
- The lobby and gate access to the City’s Corporation Yard will be restricted
- Permits can be applied for by calling ahead and scheduling an appointment
- All restrooms in City parks will remain closed during this time
- Discontinue the renting of temporary dumpsters as long as the Order is in place.
- Refuse Collection will continue as normally scheduled.
- Streets and Parks services will be uninterrupted for the foreseeable future.
The City recognizes that Kings County currently has no confirmed cases and is monitoring eight (8) cases. However, the City also recognizes a responsibility to the Citizens of Hanford to relay timely and accurate information and to operate the City in a manner as to minimize any potential transmission and in accordance with the guidance given by the State and Federal Government.
As a reminder, the City has already established a separate web page for citizens to access COVID-19 Resources at www.cityofhanfordca.com. We urge all citizens to use the links on that page to keep informed on the ever changing information.
Executive Order N-33-20
CISA Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers