MASON CITY, Iowa – Mayor Bill Schickel declared a state of emergency in Mason City in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). For information about Coronavirus (COVID-19), visit https://cghealth.org or https://masoncity.net. Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020 the Charles H. MacNider Museum will be closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The staff will continue to work and will be available to answer questions during this time via phone and email. The Charles H. MacNider Art Museum will also discontinue youth and adult activities through April 10. The ceramics studio will remain closed during this time, as well as the Imagination Playground. Please follow the Museum online and on Facebook for daily art projects, lessons, and inspiration. The City Hall building will be closed to public access, suspending face-to-face and in-person payment transactions for the protection of residents and city staff. Specifically, City Hall will close at the end of the business day, Tuesday, March 17 and will remain closed until further notice. The Mason City Public Library closed to the public effective March 17 through March 28, 2020 (subject to change). The City of Mason City will continue to monitor the situation and make decisions that support public health and reduce spread of COVID-19. The public will be updated as needed. Listen back to today’s press conference via the audio player below: City staff in these buildings will continue to work and provide services to the public electronically, by phone, by mail, and when necessary, by appointment. At this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cerro Gordo County but the proclamation follows the Iowa Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) notification of community spread of the virus in Iowa and recommendation of the immediate implementation of mitigation measures to slow the spread of the virus. From: Aaron Burnett, City AdministratorDate: March 17, 2020Subject: Mayor Schickel Declares State of Emergency in Mason City Utility Billing payment options during this period include:ACH (Automated Clearing House) and e-check automatic bill payments will continue as regularly scheduled.Payments can be made online at www.masoncity.net, click the ‘Utility Payments’ icon on the left sideChecks can be mailed to: Utility Billing, City Hall, 10 First Street NW, Mason City, IA 50401.Payments can be dropped at the drop box located just west of City Hall.Single use sanitation stickers will not be available to purchase at City Hall and instead will be available at area stores for purchase.Bus passes will not be available for purchase at City Hall until further notice. PROCLAMATIONWHEREAS, one of the most important responsibilities of City Government is theprotection of the citizens it serves; andWHEREAS, on March 9, 2020 a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency was issued tocoordinate the State of Iowa’s response to this outbreak and such disaster continues toexist; andWHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, President Donald J. Trump issued a proclamationdeclaring that the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States constitutes a nationalemergency; andWHEREAS, on March 17, 2020, Governor Reynolds issued a State of Public HealthDisaster Emergency; andWHEREAS, Iowa Department of Public Health and Governor Reynolds hasrecommended immediate implementation of several mitigation measures includingavoiding gatherings of events of more than 10 people, andWHEREAS, Iowa Code and the Mason City City Code grants the Mayor powers inemergency circumstances when public danger exists to take extraordinary steps to protectthe public health and safety; andNOW, THEREFORE, I, Bill Schickel, Mayor of Mason City, Iowa do hereby proclaimthe following;I hereby determine that a state of emergency or public danger exists and direct that allgatherings of 10 people or more on public property or public right-of-way are herebyprohibited as of midnight tonight and any permits or permissions previously granted arehereby rescinded.This Proclamation of emergency and public danger is part of an ongoing response of theCity of Mason City to protect public health and safety and may be modified orsuperseded with more restrictive proclamations at any time as circumstances warrant.I further ask all citizens to follow the guidelines set out by Centers for Disease Control,the Iowa Department of Public Health, and Cerro Gordo Public Health.Whereupon I subscribe my name and the seal of the City of Mason City on this 17 th dayof March, 2020.___________________Bill Schickel, Mayor The Recreation Business Office located in Southbridge Mall will also be closed until further notice. The childcare services portion will remain open. The Call Center is operating from 8 am-4:30 pm, Monday-Friday for individuals with questions about COVID-19. The phone numbers are (641) 494-3546 or (641) 494-3547. Citizens can also call 2-1-1 for statewide information. Through this proclamation, Mayor Schickel is prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people on public property or public right-of-way effective at midnight tonight and strongly suggests private gatherings of 10 or more people on private property should be avoided. The proclamation follows a statement last week encouraging social distancing. For information and questions related to City services and programs, please contact the appropriate City department or submit a request through the City’s Citizen Request Center at www.masoncity.net.