Mayor Miles Atkins Monday issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in Mooresville due to the imminent threat of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by coronavirus, effective immediately.

Calling the situation at hand “fluid,” Atkins said he was issuing the emergency proclamation to give Town Manager Randy Hemann the ability to prepare and respond accordingly to stop the disease’s spread. These responses include implementing restrictions, modifications or alterations to any town operations or services, Atkins said.

Additionally Monday, in response to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations that no more than 50 people gather in one place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the town then closed the Mooresville Golf Course, the Mooresville Public Library and all indoor recreation facilities until further notice. These recreation facilities include the Selma Burke Community Center, the Talbert Recreation Center, the War Memorial Center, the Winnie L. Hooper Center and the Charles Mack Citizen Center, Atkins said.

Outdoor parks will remain open at this time.

The proclamation also calls on “town law enforcement officers and employees and all other emergency management personnel subject to our control to cooperate in the enforcement and implementation of the provisions of this declaration,” Atkins said.

The proclamation came at the start of a very sparsely attended Mooresville Board of Commissioner’s meeting where town employees had placed blue signs on every other chair to remind audience members to practice social distancing. The meeting was also streamed online, said Kim Sellers, Mooresville public information officer.

Just prior to the meeting’s 6 p.m. start, the Iredell County Health Department released a statement notifying the public the first person in Iredell County had tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, joining more than 40 other people in North Carolina and more than 3,400 in the United States with the disease as of Monday night, according to the CDC and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Globally, more than 167,000 people have been infected with 6,606 deaths, according to the World Heath Organization.

In his report to the Board of Commissioners, Hemann outlined other steps town employees and officials have taken to stop the spread of COVID-19:

» a temporary telecommuting policy put in place for some town employees to work from home

» the order of “massive quantities” of disinfectant supplies with Hemann noting the town can always use the bleach the town produces for its water treatment facilities if needed

» departmental contingency plans with reduced services or workforce

» police protocol in place for interaction with the public

» temporary child care offered for fire and police personnel with air scrubbers, or portable filtration systems, at these child-care locations

» separation for town employees who have recently traveled to work from home

» discouraging large meetings

Although the Mooresville Public Library will continue to offer its online resources such as OverDrive and Hoopla, which can be found at mooresvillenc.gov, Hemann said library officials are examining the possibility of offering a drive-through book pick-up service. Hemann also said the Mooresville Golf Course and town officials could open the course as long as golfers do not come inside the clubhouse.

“This is evolving,” Hemann said. “I can tell you we didn’t have this list yesterday. There will be, I’m sure, continued additional protocol as we receive guidance from the CDC and others and we are watching that closely. Our intention is to comply.”

Atkins said he was impressed with the steps the town has taken so far.

“It is evident to me that the town of Mooresville is being very proactive in taking the necessary steps and measures to address this public health crisis,” Atkins said. “We need our residents to stay very calm and vigilant in following the recommendations of the CDC. The health and wellbeing of our community demands it. We are all in this together and we will get through it. We are Mooresville strong.”

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