After the regular St. James City Council meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Gary Sturm addressed the community via live stream, regarding the Coronavirus.
Sturm asked everyone to stay away from large group gatherings and reduce contact with neighbors, staying at least six feet away. He encouraged no handshaking as well.
Sturm shared six additional practices to remember:
1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
2. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your elbow, not into your hands.
3. Avoid touching your face: eyes, nose, and mouth.
4. Avoid contact with people who are ill.
5. Stay home from school, work, or activities if you are sick.
6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Sturm also recommended watched a video on Youtube, called "Joe Rogan Experience #1439–Michael Osterholm." Osterholm used to work with the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
"This Coronavirus is going to get worse before it gets better," said Sturm, "and it will last longer than many people think."
The city has been preparing and continuing to monitor the virus as case numbers consistently change. Sturm has been in contact with Mayo St. James Health Services Administrator Scott Thoreson, and Thoreson assured the city Mayo has plans in place to address the pandemic. Ambulance Manager Mark Nielsen distributed gloves and cleanings supplies to all city departments. The Fire Department ordered mask filters for volunteers to wear for extra security and prevention. The city also instructed businesses to wipe off counters with cleaning solutions as many possible times a day. Sturm added if there were to be a complete shutdown, the city would have an emergency plan in place to continue providing services and responding to community needs.
"With all of us working together," said Sturm, "we will get through this as a community and as a nation. But it will take some time to get through this challenge and pandemic in our country."
Approved items during the city council meeting:
–Street dance by the St. James Fire Department's 125th anniversary. The dance will happen behind the CCF Bank.
–Review of the 1998 city charter. Multiple items are incorrect or have never been followed. The charter is a "living document" and should be reviewed/updated regularly.
–Sharpline Corporation requested someone, other than them, address the unpaid real estate taxes for the last two years, approximately a little over $5,000. It'd be a city investment. Sharpline Corporation CEO Bill Martin has a tentative agreement in place for the S-T building, hiring five to 40 employees within two to five years.
–Ordinance granting City Council and Mayor emergency authority according to Section 3.05 of the City Charter, for any emergency that may have to be pursued, specifically for the COVID-19, and only to protect the health and welfare of the public.