Apparently, some people have misunderstood the intentions of my monthly Mayor’s Message that appeared in the Seguin Gazette and on social media regarding the COVID-19 situation. I hope this message clears up any of those misunderstandings.

As mayor of the city of Seguin, I want to assure citizens that the health and well-being of our community is a top priority for me, as well as to the entire city government and staff. It seems that every hour, new information comes out, and our way of life changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As I mentioned in my earlier message, please know that I, and your city council, are taking this matter very seriously. City Manager Steve Parker, along with the city’s executive team, are taking many steps to safeguard the public, including:

- The decision to temporarily close the Seguin Public Library this week — which was one of the very first library closures in the state. During this closure, the library staff is busy cleaning and disinfecting the perimeter of the library for patrons.

- Canceling and postponing meetings of city boards and commissions, with the exception of City Council and Planning & Zoning meetings.

- Postponing city events and programs, including the upcoming Moonlight & Roses event

- The city’s maintenance and custodial staff have implemented and executed a daily disinfection process/plan throughout all city facilities

- In promoting social distancing and limiting contact with others, the city is encouraging utility customers to pay their bills online using the City Hub customer portal, over the phone, by mail or via the drive-through window.

- All dockets, court trials, court appearances and jury duty have been cancelled until April at Seguin Municipal Court. Court dates are being re-scheduled.

- For those with events booked at the Seguin Events Complex, the city will re-schedule or cancel events with no penalty if customers choose to do so

- The city’s Public Information Office has also created a Coronavirus Information Center page on the city’s website, www.seguintexas.gov, where the latest information, updates, closures, meeting & event cancellations are posted, along with prevention tips and resources from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Updates are also being included on all the City’s social media channels.

- Our emergency responders are also taking proactive measures. Emergency/Life threatening calls or “In Progress” calls for service to the Seguin Police Department will be handled in the same manner as always and will not change. Non-emergency/routine calls for service will be handled over the telephone, if at all possible. Officers responding to a residence will make every effort not to go inside unless it is absolutely necessary, and will be asking people to step outside when responding to calls for service. Officers will try to maintain a “social distance” of approximately 6 feet with persons they are interacting with. Rest assured that the presence of officers in the city will not change.

- Due to this public health emergency, all Seguin Fire Department employees are required to be screened prior to reporting to work. At the beginning of the work shift, both uniformed and civilian employees will be screened for symptoms, including temperature checks.

The Seguin Fire Department has implemented a process to screen patients when calls come into the 9-1-1 Center — which includes asking a series of questions prior to arriving on-scene — and wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment, if necessary to protect both the patient and the emergency technician.

I want to stress that if you are concerned about anything that appears in this column or if you have any specific questions you would like to ask me, please email me directly at dkeil@seguintexas.gov, or call my city hall phone 830-401-2307 and leave a voicemail message, and I will call you back.

As I mentioned in my last message, we have survived the Spanish Flu, the Bird Flu, the Swine Flu. We’ve defeated smallpox and polio, and tuberculosis is very rare. I know we can defeat this too.

So, please stay at home. If you need to go out, be careful, follow the hygienic litany we hear constantly about. Wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, don’t sneeze or cough openly, avoid large groups, and stay at home if you are sick. Use common sense.

We will get through this.

Gosh, I love this town!

Don Keil is the mayor of the city of Seguin and writes a monthly column which appears every third Sunday.

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