COVID-19 PRESS RELEASE MARCH 2020


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CITY OF RUPERT MAKES PRECAUTIONARY ACCESS CHANGES AND POSTPONES PROGRAMS IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

City of Rupert’s public buildings will have limited public access; City recreation programs and meetings will be postponed in order to follow recommendations of federal, state, and local health officials.

Rupert, Idaho, March 24, 2020:  Tonight, the City of Rupert adopted an action plan to address the ongoing outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) in the Magic Valley.

Effective tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, City offices will have limited appointment-only public access; general public entry to City buildings will discontinue until further notice.  Despite the building closures, City employees will continue to work to provide customer service and deliver vital City services to residents without interruption.

Additionally, the City has postponed City meetings and Tri-City spring recreation programs.  Refunds will be issued to recreation program participants who have already registered.

“We want to do our part to make sure that Rupert residents and employees are healthy and that critical services such as electric power, water, wastewater, and garbage services remain fully staffed and operable.  We are also taking these actions to follow the guidelines of health officials who recommend limited social interaction and who advise against gatherings of large groups at this time,” said Rupert’s Mayor Michael D. Brown after the plan was adopted.

To that end, the City held training today to help employees stay healthy and keep utility services running.  City information technology staff has arranged for online meeting opportunities with City departments and officials as needed.  Utility customers can pay bills online at www.rupert-idaho.com, can pay over the telephone by calling City Hall, or they can make payment at City Hall’s outdoor drop box.  

Residents can call or email City staff with questions or concerns during regular business hours:

•       For Emergencies (24 hours) call 911 

•       Bill Pay or General Inquiries: (208) 436-9600

•       After-hours non-emergency dispatch:  (208) 434-2320

•       Police Department Inquiries during business hours: (208) 434-2330

•       Planning & Zoning Inquiries call Paul Aston: (208) 312-4602

•       City Clerk: [email protected]  

•       Water Department: [email protected]

•       Wastewater Department: [email protected]

•       Electric Department: [email protected]

•       Animal Control: (208) 670-7268 or (208) 438-2200

•       Garbage:  [email protected]

•       Administration: [email protected] 

•       DeMary Memorial Library:  (208) 436-3874

All dogs housed in the animal control facility will be posted on the facility’s Facebook page in an ongoing effort to have dogs adopted, bailed out, sheltered, or rescued.  The Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/MinidokaJointPowersAnimalShelter.   The City will continue daily kennel cleaning and care of dogs as well as the rescue work to prevent euthanizing of dogs.   Animal control services should be called out for emergency needs only.   The after-hours drop boxes will be available to accept stray dogs from Minidoka County.  Public services to finalize adoption, rescue, or bail out of animals must be made by appointment.

Although the DeMary Memorial Library is closed to the public, library materials may be checked out during regular hours using a curbside service.

City garbage service customers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (or suspect they are infected) should contact City Hall or Department Supervisor Randy Thompson to safely dispose of garbage.  

With respect to any possible government regulation of City individuals or businesses, such as forced shutdowns, City Administrator Kelly Anthon stated, “We want to do everything we can to support our local businesses.  We trust our local business community to make their own informed decisions.   The City of Rupert is not forcing any shutdown of businesses.  At the same time, we encourage all of our residents and neighbors to follow the guidelines issued by the South Central Public Health District to stay healthy and stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.” 

Links to more information about COVID-19 can be found on the City’s website, www.rupert-idaho.com .