MAYOR LAUREN MCLEAN:
We know it’s been an unsettling week for people. All our daily lives have been upended. We are unsure what’s happening next, how our lives will change from day to day and what new challenges we may face. The City of Boise takes ensuring the health and safety of our community and employees very seriously.
Our community sustains and defines us and give us a unique sense of purpose. Times like this help to define what’s good in our community: caring for our neighbors, extending kindness and understanding and above all, coming together to care for our more vulnerable community members.
In response to multiple COVID-19 confirmed cases, the City of Boise joined Ada and Canyon Counties, along with other cities in the Valley in a joint emergency declaration today. This allows us to protect our most vulnerable populations, adds protection for consumers, and enables us all to recover costs we’ll have put into place to protect our staff and the community.
We’ve learned so much from other communities around the globe impacted by the virus. The spread of the virus can be greatly slowed if governments, businesses and individuals act early, aggressively and intelligently.
In the interest of public health, effective Tuesday morning, public access to all city facilities except the airport will cease until further notice. City services will still be available through call-in, online and mail and we are working on new ways for the public to access services. City staff will report into their work locations as usual. Field services like parking, building inspectors, etc. will continue until we determine the risk is too great. We are evaluating public hearings and meetings with any significant attendance and exploring alternative approaches to conducting city businesses. Tuesday’s City Council meeting will proceed as scheduled using virtual technology to allow remote access.
Facility Closures and Programming Cancellations
In addition to the declaration of emergency, at a press conference at 2:30 p.m. today, I will be announcing the following operational changes effective on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at the City of Boise.
All city facilities, with the exception of the Boise Airport, will close to the public. This includes:
- City Hall
- City Hall West
- Boise Public Library facilities, including the Main Library and each branch library
- Fort Boise, including the Dick Eardley Senior Center (Meals on Wheels meals will still be provided through curbside pick-up service)
- School-based Community Centers
- Idaho IceWorld
- Zoo Boise
- Quail Hollow and Warm Springs Golf Courses
- Boise WaterShed
All citywide public programming and public outreach will be cancelled until further notice. This includes:
- Parks and Recreation activities, classes, events and leagues
- All Library and Arts & History programs and events
- All public open house, town halls or other similar gatherings, including city-hosted neighborhood meetings
There will be no special event permits issues for eight weeks, however our staff will continue to process and be ready when appropriate. I encourage community partners to postpone events for 50 or more people in the interest of public safety.
Services traditionally offered through in-person interactions will be offered through the web (if possible), over the phone, through the mail, or delayed until public services are restored.
We are working closely with city, county and state agencies on a coordinated response. We are doing all we can, as soon as we can, to share information and updates. We will continue to monitor the situation and will update the community as we find ways we can continue to protect our families.
As difficult as these decisions have been, and knowing how this affects everyone’s daily schedules, I must make the health and welfare of our employees and community a top priority. In moments like this, people and community are our strength. As a vibrant community, let’s recognize that we’re all in this together and treat one another with respect, consideration and kindness. We know we will pull through to become stronger as we create a safe place for our families.
We remain committed to regular communication and are ready to take action as needed.
Thank for your understanding as we work toward solutions together.
For the most up to date information from the City of Boise on COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 resource page.