EVART — In a news release Friday, March 13, the city of Evart announced actions to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, also known as the coronavirus.

The news release stated, it is not intention of city officials to overreact to the coronavirus, however, "it is our duty to plan for the potential community transmission of the virus and take the necessary precautions to protect our residents and staff, and to slow the transmission of this virus."

At the recommendation of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency declaration and local public safety and emergency management officials, the city is limiting certain operations to mitigate risks of coronavirus. The following operational changes will be in effect until April 5, when we will reassess any potential changes:

1. All city residents are discouraged from conducting business within city hall that can otherwise be conducted via U.S. Mail, drop box locations or online at evart.org. City night drop boxes will be processed continually. Elderly and at-risk populations should avoid city hall.

2. The city council meeting for Monday, March 16, has been canceled.

3. At this time, city offices will remain open.

4. Police and fire operations are coordinating response plans for potential coronavirus contact, with emergency response agencies and healthcare agencies from across the county.

5. City administration officials will be taking measures to afford paid sick time to employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19. All city personnel will err on the side of caution.

6. Scheduled water meter appointments entering private property will be paused.

7. Recycling bins will only be available at the Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant, 611 West 10th St., Evart, during normal business hours.