City of Norco Declares Local Emergency and Announces Temporary Modifications to City Operations
Posted: 3/16/20 | 4 p.m.
On Monday, March 16, the City of Norco declared a local emergency to increase its efforts to protect the public from the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). To ensure the safety of the public and City employees, the City of Norco will suspend in-person assistance services at all facilities, including City Hall, and will transition to electronic and telephonic assistance services beginning on Tuesday, March 17.
The declaration of local emergency is not intended to create panic. The declaration allows and equips City Manager Andy Okoro to direct City operations and coordinate emergency services and policies while conditions exist that could threaten the safety of Norco residents. The City of Norco’s proclamation of local emergency notes that “there exists conditions of a disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons or property within the territorial limits of the City of Norco that are beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of the City for the reason of COVID-19.” The declaration is expected to be ratified by the Norco City Council on Wednesday, March 18.
The City of Norco previously announced various facility closures and event/program suspensions, however the closures now include City Hall and the Norco Animal Shelter. These closures and suspensions are temporary precautionary changes to City operations that will protect City employees and the public who use City services and facilities. City facilities, including City Hall, Animal Shelter, Senior Center, Community Center and George Ingalls Event Center, will be closed to the public until further notice. For general assistance, or to schedule an appointment for an essential service, the public may call (951) 270-5623, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.norco.ca.us/COVID-19, and their requests will be directed to the appropriate department.
The declaration of local emergency will not affect the work schedules of police, fire and trash collection. Most City employees will continue to report to work for their regular schedules. Some will be reassigned to other duties necessitated by the closures, including communicating with the public. The decision to close facilities to the public will be reviewed frequently as conditions change.
This declaration of local emergency comes as local, state and federal governments are working in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19 across the country, in order to reduce the potential of the virus to overwhelm the nation’s healthcare agencies. President Trump declared a National Emergency on March 13 and Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency on March 4. While the Riverside County Health Department has issued several orders regarding public gatherings, all Corona-Norco Unified public schools have closed.
The City of Norco advises local residents, especially those 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions, to heed the advice issued by Governor Newsom in a further effort to slow the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus. Governor Newsom recommended that Californians age 65 and older, who are most vulnerable to the virus, must practice home isolation. He also called on everyone to “maximize social distancing” by keeping at least six feet away from another person.
The City of Norco is taking extra precautions for the safety and well-being of residents and employees. The City is following recommendations and best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Riverside County Public Health Department. The City is monitoring the situation and is prepared to respond should the situation change.
All residents are encouraged to follow official City of Norco social media accounts and to sign-up to receive official City news and alerts, which can be sent directly to you via email and/or text, by visiting www.norco.ca.us/newsroom.
For more information, contact the City of Norco at (951) 270-5623 or email@example.com.