Due to the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and as part of our effort to put the safety and well-being of our customers, staff, and ultimately the community as our top priority, the City of Castle Hills has developed a plan of action outlining procedures and protocols for employees during this public health emergency. City Hall will Closed today, March 26, 2020 through April 10, 2020 to the public.
As COVID-19 continues to impact our nation, we are committed to doing what’s best for our community and our employees. We are continually communicating with internal and external resources to ensure that we are providing our community accurate and timely information. Due to the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and as part of our effort to put the safety and well-being of our customers, staff, and ultimately the community as our top priority, the City of Castle Hills has developed a plan of action outlining procedures and protocols for employees during this public health emergency. During this fluid situation, we as City staff have been conferring with other cities on what procedures and protocols have been undertaken to address COVID-19 concerns since there is no guide or play book in place for municipalities to deal with this unique situation.
Our department directors and staff have been working to develop and implemented procedures/protocols measures in order for our organization as a response to COVID-19 concerns. We have been practicing social distancing around City Hall by utilizing phone/email communication more frequently as opposed to direct interaction. CHFD has been screening employee’s temperature on a daily basis at the fire station before they report to work. We have encouraged permitting and court operations including payments to be done online. We have increased cleaning frequencies at City hall and installed hand sanitizer dispensers around the building as a result of this public health emergency. CHFD has received equipment (infection control kits which includes masks and gloves) to protect our first responders during this time.
During our preparation for establishing these procedures and protocols I engaged our leadership team to identify mission critical priorities and objectives to ensure stability in our City services as it relates to police, fire, sanitation and administration. As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, the City of Castle Hills has implemented certain procedures and protocols for our employees. City departments have developed priorities and objectives for mission critical staff to ensure the continuation of City services. Moving forward during this public health emergency, the City of Castle Hills will be implementing temporary operational changes as indicated in the attached document titled “City Hall Operations and Plan of Action in response to COVID 19 Procedures.”
I want to stress the point that during these sensitive times, the Castle Hills Police Department and the Castle Hills Fire Department will continue to provide the highest level of service to our community. Sanitation, for now, will continue with normal operations but may be modified and/or adjusted. As for administration, we have identified employees who can work from home and remotely, we will be alternating employees to ensure City staff is not only responsive, but is doing their part to potentially reduce their exposure to COVID-19 as well as to other staff members and the citizens they serve. Also, some employees who may be impacted by the prolonged school closures have also been identified and included in the modifications in our workforce. We have developed guidelines for certain employees to work from home during this time. However, we have asked they be flexible and if necessary, will need to report to the office workspace.
As a result of the order issued by Bexar County along with the City’s declaration, the City of Castle Hills and its employee will be doing its part to practice the stay home work safe measures introduced and in place through April 9, 2020. A number of cities locally and across Texas have closed to the public through the month of April. As for future meetings both City Council Meetings and other board meetings, City staff has been working through the logistics to implement teleconferring with the eventual capability of video conferring for members of council who wish to stay at home for future meetings in order to participate. I would ask that City Council be patient as we fine-tune this adjustment
We will continue to update the community as necessary on other potential changes to procedures and protocols based on any developments related to concerns with COVID-19 which might impact the City of Castle Hills. As this situation evolves, we are taking actions to follow the most recent guidelines from our national and local health authorities. Any updates or changes will be provided to residents via our City website and social media pages as they become available. We are working to develop an informational link on the City’s website dedicated to COVID-19. The attached action plan in response to COVID-19 procedures will be on the City’s website and social media outlets. As indicated on our action plan, we have provided detailed contact information for City services, please do hesitate to contact us.
Moving forward, the City will continue to evaluate employee status and safety, and implement further measures if required in our operations which could potentially impact of City services. We would rather operate with extreme caution for our employees and residents, in order to do our part in halting the possible spread of COVID-19 within our community.
In times like these, we listen, we learn and we support each other. We are committed to providing you with superior service during this season of uncertainty. We ask that our community of citizens continue to be safe and supportive of each other.
March 26 2020 City Hall Operations Action plan to Castle Hills Residents