Regrettably, the premise of this message is to inform the public that in the abundance of caution, based on the guidance provided by the city’s medical director and emergency management staff, I the City Manager have chosen to postpone the state of the city address scheduled for March 21, 2020.
Dear Community Stakeholders:
In his address to the nation last night concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19), President Donald
J. Trump communicated that the coronavirus is now considered a pandemic. The simple definition of a pandemic is a disease that impacts an entire country or the whole world. As additional information is being provided to federal, state and local agencies, we are requesting that all residents, visitors, and businesses in the area heed the recommendations that encourage individuals to avoid large gatherings, and, if events and activities are to occur, to ensure that appropriate screening measures are in place to maintain the public’s health, safety, and welfare.
Yesterday evening, a passenger on a JetBlue flight that arrived at Palm Beach International Airport, with diagnosed with coronavirus after the plane landed in Palm Beach County. Fire rescue crews met the passenger following the guidelines for a COVID-19 positive patient. No further information has been released concerning the passenger.
Therefore, as a neighboring city, we must be vigilant and proactive regarding the actions we take. Hence, I have issued an administrative directive to cancel all city events and programs anticipated to have more than 50 attendees. This action is intended to minimize any potential contact or exposure by members of this community. Furthermore, I have chosen to postpone the 2020 State of the City address, as well as this evening’s event, the swearing-in ceremony of Nathan Osgood, the newly hired chief of police. These measures were taken to ensure that members of our community are not placed in compromising situations, as your safety is my first priority. Further, all city facilities will be cleaned with advanced chemicals on a more frequent basis. This thorough cleaning includes city gathering places.
In addition, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I have authorized all city staff to refrain from physical contact and commence social distancing. Thus, meetings with the public via telephone or digital means rather than face-to-face contact are encouraged. City staff will be required to wear the appropriate safety equipment to minimize the potential of spreading this infectious virus. Individuals experiencing flulike symptoms are directed to stay home until they feel better and, in some cases, will be required to seek clearance from a physician before returning to their regular duties and responsibilities. Above all, prevention is absolutely the priority of this administration.
Furthermore, Aetna, our health insurance provider, will waive co-pays for all diagnostic testing related to COVID-19. In conjunction with this, for the next 90 days, Aetna will offer zero co-pays for telemedicine visits for any reason. Other benefits will be afforded to those who are exposed to this virus.
In closing, we understand and are empathetic concerning the fear this virus has instilled in our community, state, and nation. This apprehension is why we are taking the most appropriate steps to safeguard the public and our employees. As more information becomes available, please continue to monitor the city’s website and city-related social media accounts. But—more importantly—please rely on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as your primary source of information, as they are providing daily updates regarding the coronavirus.
Jonathan E. Evans, MPA, MBA, ICMA-CM
City Manager – Riviera Beach
C. Hon. Mayor and City Council
All City Personnel