CHICO, Calif. - The City of Chico held a closed city council meeting Tuesday to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and how the city plans to help.
City Manager Mark Orme discussed the four buckets he believes could slow the speed of COVID-19.
The continuity of essential city services, protecting vulnerable populations, mitigating impacts to businesses and jobs, and management of public space.
“If in fact, COVID-19 breaches our organization, a police officer or a firefighter, or any other individual, we would still be able to provide services without having to quarantine a whole shift,” said Orme.
Chico police, fire, and code enforcement have all taken steps to keep its employees safe by going mobile, modifying work schedules and quarantining anybody with symptoms.
“I actively hired a Homeless Solutions Coordinator. Joy came on board in the past week and has been hitting the ground running with our county partners and all of our service providers. She is ensuring that our homeless population is getting those resources necessary like a place with a roof over their head, especially if they already have been tested for COVID-19. We need to get them isolated and into a safe place,” said Orme.
The City is also working with the county to help the homeless population shelter in hotels, especially those most vulnerable or symptomatic. This is called Project Room Key.
There is no encampment sweeps. The city will open up more porter potties and handwashing stations. The city will also provide more signage, increase its social media presence and website resources for the public.
Meter fees will be canceled during this time. The city hopes it will encourage people to shop locally. It has also waived all convenience fees.
The City of Chico says its hotline is still open for business support and citizens’ reports.