FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2020
SAINT PAUL, MN - Mayor Carter today declared a State of Local Emergency amid the spread of coronavirus COIVD-19. Beginning Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27, all Saint Paul Public Libraries, Parks, and Recreation Center facilities — including the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory — will close to the public. In accordance with guidance issued today by the CDC, the City of Saint Paul will not issue new permits that involve gatherings of 50 or more people. Worker’s compensation coverage will be provided for Saint Paul Fire Fighters and Police Officers who are exposed to or contract COVID-19 on duty. Mayor Carter has requested Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher suspend all evictions in the City of Saint Paul. These measures follow the March 12th announcement that water shutoffs will be suspended for 30 days.
“We must take bold and immediate action to address the local impacts of this pandemic,” said Mayor Melvin Carter. “These extraordinary steps are critical to protecting our public health and safety, and are not taken lightly.”
ABOUT THE LOCAL STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARATION
The local emergency declaration permits Saint Paul Emergency Management to request and coordinate the appropriate aid and resources from surrounding jurisdictions, including the Ramsey County Division of Emergency Management, Homeland Security, and the State of Minnesota as needed. It also permits city departments to quickly mobilize available resources and conduct immediate purchasing and contracting. The Emergency Declaration can be found here.
ABOUT THE CLOSURE OF ALL LIBRARIES, PARKS & RECREATION FACILITIES
In close consultation with Saint Paul-Ramsey County Public Health, and in alignment with the latest guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health, all Saint Paul Public Libraries and all Parks and Recreation facilities - including the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory - will be closed to the public beginning Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27.
Leadership in both departments are working to develop plans to maintain essential core functions such as the continued care of animals at Como Park Zoo and working with Ramsey County and Saint Paul Public Schools to respond to the needs of children and families following statewide school closures this week.
SUSPENSION OF PERMITS FOR GATHERINGS OF 50 OR MORE PEOPLE
In accordance with guidance released today by the CDC, the City of Saint Paul will not issue new permits that involve gatherings of 50 or more people.
ABOUT WORKERS COMPENSATION COVERAGE FOR FIRST RESPONDERS
Saint Paul’s emergency responders are treating and transporting suspected COVID-19 patients from their homes to hospitals, and there is no work from home option for officers protecting our city. Mayor Carter has directed the City of Saint Paul’s Office of Human Resources to follow the guidelines under Minnesota Statute 176.011 and ensure that any City of Saint Paul Fire Fighter or Police Officer who is exposed to or contracts COVID-19 while on active duty will be covered by worker’s compensation and the City of Saint Paul will accept those COVID-19 related claims of exposure.
"I am grateful for Mayor Carter’s leadership during this challenging and historic moment in our history," said Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell. "I am even more grateful and proud of our officers and first responders who simply don’t have the option of staying home during moments of crisis."
”The health and wellness of our firefighters is a top priority for us, especially in challenging situations we face today," said Saint Paul Fire Chief Butch Inks. "Mayor Carter and his entire administration have made the well being of our firefighters a top priority from day one. This decision and commitment to the first responders is another example of his dedication to public safety.”
ABOUT THE REQUEST TO SUSPEND EVICTIONS IN SAINT PAUL
Mayor Carter has requested that the Ramsey County Sheriff suspend evictions in the City of Saint Paul through March 30. A letter sent to the Ramsey County Sheriff can be found here.
WATER SHUTOFFS SUSPENDED IN SAINT PAUL
As of March 12, Mayor Carter, in coordination with Saint Paul Board of Water Commissioners, has authorized the suspension of all water shut-offs to ensure all residents can access water and can follow recommendations from health officials related to washing.
More information about the City of Saint Paul’s response to COVID-19 can be found at stpaul.gov/coronavirus.