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Many communities have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak recently, regardless of their size.  The Small Cities / Rural Communities (SC/RC) would like to share Lessons Learned about COVID-19. 

“If I Could Do It Over Again, I Would Have…”

  1. Stocked up on sanitizing supplies – I wished I would have stocked up on toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning wipes, gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, etc.  We have had to get creative by purchasing hand sanitizer from a local distillery.
  1. Purchased IT supplies – We were very short on IT supplies to allow our employees to work remotely.  We had a limited supply of cameras and were unable to order them at a reasonable price.  I know someone who ordered 20 laptops for his team to work from home.  I am sure this was very costly.  Other IT items we were short on included longer network cables and headphones.
  1. Kept a stock of and rotated supplies to keep them from expiring – The only thing with stocking up is to make sure one is not hoarding.  When people start to panic, they stock up and in the end they have more than they need, preventing supplies from reaching the ones who really need them.
  1. Mobilized Emergency Management Team sooner – We would have mobilized the Emergency Management team a lot sooner.  Our Central Supply Clerk started ordering supplies, but we had no early direction from the team.
  1. Developed and performed regular updates to pandemic plans – I have spent a lot of time developing plans and identifying essential tasks and staff.  We were well-stocked on most items we needed, with the exception of masks.  We have kept all staff home, during the past three weeks, except for a few individuals who worked alone on-site, when they were required.

 

“Something Unique that My Community is Doing During this Crisis”

  1. Funeral Service – A fellow employee lost his father during the stay-at-home orders issued by the government.  They were not able to have a proper funeral service with extended family and friends.  Several field crew members lined Main Street by the funeral home with their hazard lights on, as the three-car funeral processional drove by.  It was our way of paying tribute to a member of our “family”.  We were there, respecting their memory, at a social distance.
  1. Public Information – Our community provided constant updates through the city’s home page and Facebook page.  Keeping the citizens informed with the facts and with decisions made at the Local, State and Federal levels.
  1. Yard Waste Alternative – Our community temporarily suspended yard debris pick up and rear yard collections.  We have started to deliver “pay as you throw” garbage bags to residents who are not comfortable with shopping for them in grocery stores.
     
  2. Wider Lanes – Our community converted a 2-way street to a 1-way street to provide more space for people to be active while practicing social/physical distancing.