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March 24, 2020 5:05 PM

City Hall, Stuart Building Closed to Visitors, Nonessential Personnel

With the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus in Forsyth County, as of Wednesday the city is closing City Hall and the Stuart Municipal Building to most outside visitors and ordering all non-essential employees in those buildings to stay home. Employees will work from home to the extent possible.

Essential city services, including police, fire, sanitation, water & sewer treatment, traffic signals and WSTA, will continue to operate as normally as possible. Employees in those departments are taking the necessary precautions.

The city’s COVID-19 task force, comprising the city’s senior staff, recommended that non-essential personnel stay home, Mayor Allen Joines said. "Keeping as many people as we can out of the workplace will assist our effort to maintain essential services,” Joines said, “because there will be that many fewer people coming in contact with our essential personnel."

To reduce the chance of passing the virus between employees and citizens, City Hall and the Stuart Building will be closed, however, existing permit appointments with Inspections will be honored. The city has purchased additional software licenses to allow city employees to work from home.

Residents who need to interact with city departments should do so through City Link or the city website. Payments can be made online, over the phone through City Link, and at the drive-through windows at the Stuart Building(100 E. First St.) and the Black Phillips Smith Government Office (2301 Patterson Ave.).

At this point Sanitation is maintaining the regular collection schedule. City residents should roll out their garbage, recycling and yard-waste cards as usual. Carts should be left at the curb until they are emptied, in case collection crews encounter delays.

Joines urged city residents to take seriously the precautions recommended by public health officials.

"Social distancing is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That is why we are taking the extraordinary step of keeping all non-essential employees out of the workplace.

"But we can’t do it alone. We need all our citizens to take it seriously, too. Stay home if you’re sick. Wash your hands frequently. Cough in your elbow. Remember, we are all in this together."

For the latest information go to CityofWS.org and click the Alerts bar at the top of the page.

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