At the City of Salem, we take seriously direction from our Governor and public health agencies. Together, with everyone doing their part, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the severity of risk to everyone in our community.
The Centers for Disease Control and the Oregon Health Authority continue to advise that we should stay home to stay healthy. If you must go out, to pick up food from a grocery store or local restaurant, maintain necessary social distancing of six or more feet.
You can count on us. Our City will continue to provide emergency response, public safety and other essential services, including water service to all customers. We're making provisions for employees to provide service to our community by working remotely where possible, and if needed, in offices with appropriate social distancing and separation. To help keep our community safe and continue sharing critical information to our community, we are re-purposing our staff and resources to essential services where possible.
For the most up to date information on the COVID-19 virus and how to protect your health, please visit Oregon Health Authority. For health-related questions, contact 2-1-1.
Changes to City services and programs. To do our part in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce opportunities for continued transmission of the virus, we are making changes to some of our programs and services including:
Civic Center. Our administrative offices are closed as of Tuesday, March 24, 2020. You can contact us with questions. Many City services are available to the community via our website. Building permits and land use applications may be submitted online. Utility bills, parking tickets, and other business with the City may also be conducted online.
City Council meetings. The City Council put temporary public meeting procedures in place, to ensure continuation of necessary City business while complying with social distancing guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Meetings are limited to fewer than 25 people, including members of the governing body, the public and staff. Real-time remote viewing of these meetings is available online on the City of Salem Facebook page, Comcast Cable CCTV Channel 21, or on the CCTVSalem YouTube channel. In-person public comment is suspended at meetings. Public testimony may be provided in advance of the meeting by email to [email protected]
Parks and Public Spaces. Park facilities and public spaces, such as sidewalks, remain open. If you do use the parks, follow recommended social distancing guidelines, keep wet bleach-based towelettes with you to clean hands, and avoid touching your face. For more information on how to protect your health, please visit Oregon Health Authority. New local use restrictions are in place through April 28, 2020. In most parks, restrooms, drinking fountains and splash fountains are closed.
Salem Public Library. Salem Public Library has closed its physical locations. Patrons are asked to keep materials at home until they reopen. Staff will remain available via phone, provide virtual reference and information services (e-books, movies, etc.) Follow Salem Public Library on Facebook for additional information.
Center 50+. Center 50+ has closed to the public. Congregate meals offered Monday through Friday at Center 50+ will continue through a drive-up option. Follow Center50plus on Facebook for additional information.
Help for small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Marion and Polk are eligible to apply to the US Small Business Administration Emergency Impact Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. This program is available to provide working capital assistance to small businesses and nonprofits who are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Questions to SEDCOR at [email protected] or to the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce.
Parking Changes, Fines, and Permits. We've converted some downtown parking spaces to 15-minute 'ToGo' spaces to allow downtown restaurant patrons to pick up food and beverages. We are suspending immobilizations and impoundment of vehicles for failure to pay fines through April 30, 2020. City of Salem parking permit holders are encouraged to cancel their parking permits as soon as you think you may no longer need it by sending an email to [email protected] and letting us know that you need to cancel your parking permit.
Water service. Through April 29, 2020, the City will not shut-off water service to customers due to non-payment to ensure residents can wash frequently in accordance with the Center for Disease Control's recommended sanitation practices while at home.
As you know, information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is changing by the hour and by the day. Our response to the virus will require changes in how we continue to serve our community. We'll continue to share what we're learning and how it will impact City services on our website (https://www.cityofsalem.net/Pages/covid19.aspx) and through social media.
We're all in this together. Thank you for doing your part.
Stay home. Stay healthy. Stay connected Salem.
Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett Steve Powers, Salem City Manager