Whether you are an employee or visitor, if you walk into a city building, you need to wear a mask.
That is according to Mayor Shirley Washington, whose office released covid-19 safety precautions for city employees and others as confirmed positive cases continue to rise in the state of Arkansas.
To exercise caution against the virus the following safeguards have been enforced in each city department.
• Facial coverings are required for employees and visitors in all city buildings.
• Everyone should receive a temperature check upon entering the facility.
• Anyone who is feeling ill or experiencing covid-19 symptoms such as coughing, fever, or sore throat should be encouraged to get tested. The mayor's office is also researching options to provide every employee with a home test kit.
• Commonly touched surfaces and objects that are shared by multiple people will be cleaned and sanitized as much as possible.
• Unless absolutely necessary, in-person meetings should be avoided. Instead, meetings should be held over the phone and on virtual platforms to limit exposure to individuals who may be infected with covid-19.
• Each department will be adequately supplied with PPE (personal protection equipment) and cleaning supplies. If purchases are needed while the purchasing freeze is in effect, department heads can contact the mayor's office for assistance or review and approval of an emergency purchase request.
• Anyone who has not received a vaccine or booster is encouraged to visit the nearest vaccination site to get vaccinated or boosted.
The omicron variant of the coronavirus is the predominant strain of the virus now being found, and it is much more contagious than other forms of the virus. For the past four days, the number of new cases in Arkansas has set new one-day records, with Friday's number of new cases at 8,434.