March 18 – UPDATE FROM MAYOR REGARDING COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2020

UPDATE FROM MAYOR REGARDING COVID-19

(Opelousas, LA) Opelousas officials are closely monitoring all developments regarding COVID 19. Precautionary measure, and ‘good common- sense practices’ have already been put into place by city administration. At this time the City of Opelousas will remain open to serve members of the public unless or until information becomes available deeming it too unsafe to continue business as usual, or ordered to close by state government.
Because COVID-19 is communal, we are taking steps and initiating measures to hopefully curtail the transmission/spread of this virus. We are following the current guidance issued by the local, state, and federal authorities in order to do our part in reducing community spread and preventing the risks brought on by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Presently state officials have shared information showing there are 257 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 6 deaths in Louisiana.
Presently, there are NO confirmed cases in the City of Opelousas and none in St Landry Parish. We will continue to work with our parish counterparts to keep all of us safe in St. Landry Parish.
Because the COVID-19 virus is in its infancy stages but likely to spread even more, the City of Opelousas will continue to operate while applying safeguards for all involved. First, we will continue to implement measures to control the potential spread of the virus. We will begin limiting service to customers through our Drive-Thru Lanes only, which are located on the west side of the city hall building, at 105 N. Main St. We are being socially conscious of all customers and employees. Due to the current COVID-19 event, these times will present inconveniences and hardships that will be incurred by our valued citizens and customers, the administration has deferred for a period of twenty (20) days the increase of water/sewage rates adopted by the City Council at the regular March 2020 meeting. We will re-evaluate these provisions on April 1st 2020.
The administration will also suspend cutoff fees and late penalties (delinquent) for the next 20 days. This decision impacts anyone who has had water service with the City of Opelousas since the beginning of this declaration. This does not mean or say you are not to pay your bills. It is still your responsibility to pay your bill on time for the services you have received.
*Through discussion and all parties have agreed that to assist in proactive precautions, the city along with its partners are postponing the following: The following events have been postponed:
• City of Opelousas 2020 Trash Bash, (St Landry Parish School Board)
• Rotary Club of Opelousas Sunrise Duathlon Race
• City of Opelousas/OGHS Foundation Ground Breaking Ceremony (Walking Trail/South City Park)
• St. Landry Parish Democratic Executive Committee Banquet (DPEC-Opelousas Civic Center)
• Autism Event Ledricka Thierry/Opelousas Civic Center)

Finally, the City in conjunction with the EPA is providing this important information about COVID-19:
The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in the drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in our municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.”
The water system of the City of Opelousas and its water quality is at its best in many years and it is our intent to have our customers receive that type of service and quality. We will continue to provide good wastewater service to our customers as well.
Our task also includes keeping all our citizens abreast of updated information that is conveyed to us while working with our local Healthcare Provider OGHS (Opelousas General Health System) from information provided by LDH (Louisiana Dept of Health) via the CDC (Centers for Disease Control).

Mayor Julius Alsandor
City of Opelousas

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