• 32°

City departments take precautions during COVID-19 outbreak

By Liz Moomey

liz.moomey@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The city plans to continue its operations, but departments have made changes to ensure employees stay safe and the city abides by federal, state and Rowan County Health Department recommendations.

The city is encouraging residents to conduct business online or by mail and telephone. The city is looking to “platooning” for its employees in which they will report to work on alternating days or work remotely.

The following are suggestions by city staff for customers and ways operations have changed.

Customer Service Center

• Pay by phone at 704-638-5300 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Debit and credit cards are accepted.

• Pay online at www.salisburync.gov/pay. Create an online account with your account number or pay as a guest. Debit, credit cards and bank account information are accepted. 

• Pay by mail. Send your check or money order payment with your remittance form on the bill to: City of Salisbury, P.O. Box 740600, Atlanta, GA  30374

• Pay by drive through or the drop box in the rear Customer Service Center parking lot. 

• Pay by drop box at five other locations: Salisbury Fire Station 3, 1600 W. Innes St., Salisbury; China Grove Town Hall, 308 E. Centerview St., China Grove; Rockwell Town Office, 2020 E. Main St., Rockwell; Granite Quarry Town Office, 143 N. Salisbury Ave., Granite Quarry; Spencer City Office, 600 S. Salisbury Ave., Spencer

Planning

• Promoting the use of alternatives to face-to-face interactions. On Monday, the shop did not see a dramatic difference in the number of walk-in customers. Staff will discourage office visits unless an appointment is made. Social distancing will be practiced at meetings.

• Except in emergency situations, code enforcement officers have scaled back face-to-face interactions as a part of issuing nuisance notice of violations.

• Canceled board/commission meetings and events through the end of March.

• Regular and thorough cleaning of public and customer areas.

• The Planning Services Division can work remotely. Code service officers would have a difficult time operating from home, but they spend the majority of their time in the field. Development services could operate from home and are working on setting up software to work remotely.

Public Works

• Interviews for maintenance workers held via telephone.

• Grounds crews are cleaning playgrounds daily.

• Mowing will have delays to account for time spent for cleanings.

Human Resources

• Will add verbiage to signature on emails. “To help aid preventative measures of spreading COVID-19, we strongly encourage all visitors to utilize online or phone services as an alternative to face-to- face interactions.”

• Blue Cross Blue Shield is waiving testing costs for COVID-19 for staff.

• HR will postpone recruitment and new employment orientation for 30 days.

Parks and Recreation

• All indoor facilities closed and all program on hold until further notice.

• No face-to-face interactions, online and phone registrations.

• Staff on standby to take children of essential city staff to minimize city service interruption, if needed later.

Salisbury-Rowan Utilities

• Postponed continuing education training for employees (and outside water/wastewater operators) that were to be held in several of the city’s facilities.

• Canceled all travel;

• Postponed safety meetings and any staff meeting consisting of more than 10 employees.

• Changed a long-standing policy and stopped overlap during shift change, where 12-hour shift operators used to spend 15-30 minutes together at shift changes.

• The majority of SRU’s functions cannot be performed from home. If the situation continues to worsen, there are several laptops that can be given out to a few employees (engineering and administration) who can perform some tasks from home.

Salisbury Transit

• Encouraging riders to only travel when necessary.

• Increased disinfecting buses, phones, two-way radio, door knobs, etc.

• Conference calls with drivers for staff meetings instead of meeting in person.

• Checking in with other systems in the region to see if they are adjusting routes or schedules.

• No employees are currently working from home.

Downtown Salisbury Inc.

• Visitor foot traffic has slowed down at City Hall.

• In-person meetings are now teleconference meetings.

• Local restaurants, primarily in the downtown area, will be allowed a maximum of four parking spaces to operate curbside or takeout service.

Communications

• Majority of staff is working remotely and will come into the office as needed for appropriate projects. The director will remain in the office.

Comments

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds