City Adopts Coronavirus Emergency Response Plan, Offers Information for Residents
For an updated list for City of Columbia Heights closures click here
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a newly discovered respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Risk of infection is dependent on exposure. It's unclear how easily the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading between people. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus, avoid close contact with people who are sick, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds per time.
If you are sick, please stay home. Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough and throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms, but there currently is no vaccine. The recovery rate is high. Those over age 60 and those with underlying health conditions are most at risk. People can go 2-14 days after contracting the virus without showing symptoms.
A Message from the Mayor
We are in challenging times. I want to reassure you that our City staff is prepared and connected to Anoka County for a continuity of essential City services, and our Public Safety department is following a step-by-step Pandemic Preparedness Plan.
As I’m writing this, I have just received word that our governor, Tim Walz, is in self-quarantine after becoming exposed to someone with COVID-19. Our Lt Governor, Peggy Flanagan, has said on social media that her brother has died after contracting COVID-19, and US Senator Amy Klobuchar has reported that her husband had become infected and was battling pneumonia at a hospital in Virginia.
We see life changing all around us. Many are housebound or searching local grocery stores for that elusive carton of eggs. Many are wondering how long this might last. This is a scary time, but it is also a time for us to find ways to help our neighbors and families, a time for us to do our part to slow the spread of this disease by sticking to the social distancing recommendations, a time for us to show courage and kindness in the face of adversity. Watch out for your neighbors. Call those who may be housebound. Keep connected to family and friends, either with social media, phone, Zoom, or a note in the mail. Please consider dropping off snacks or other nonperishable foods for neighbors in need or bring them to the SACA Food Shelf.
Now that the weather is somewhat cooperating, get out and walk around your block. If you have gloves or a garbage picker, help clean up your yard, street, or local park.
If you are in need of help, please reach out to friends, neighbors, coworkers and your faith communities. If it is overwhelming, contact a counselor. Lee Carlson Center has worked with the City and the School District to offer help for teens and adults. Alexandra House offers help for victims of domestic violence. SACA and the Salvation Army serve Columbia Heights and are there to help with food and other items. The Columbia Heights School District is offering free breakfast and lunch for students. Check their website for drop-off points. If you have questions for City staff, please call 763-706-3600. As always, if you need immediate assistance, please dial 911.
Even though social distancing requires us to stay apart, we will get through this together.
Donna Schmitt, Mayor
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home if you feel sick
- Avoid close contact with anyone exhibiting symptoms
- Avoid large gatherings
- When in social settings, try to keep six feet between you and others (social distancing)
Symptoms to Watch For:
- Shortness of breath
Columbia Heights Emergency Preparedness Plan
The Columbia Heights Police and Fire Departments have worked to develop an emergency preparedness plan to respond to the coronavirus threat. The plan was adopted by the City Council on March 9. It follows guidelines provided by the CDC, Department of Health, WHO, and Homeland Security, and aligns with the best practices specified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The plan is also based off of emergency response plans created for H1N1, SARS, and flu pandemics. The plan gives Columbia Heights' emergency responders a clear set of actions for each threat level for all portions of the City.
"We're ready to react if we need to," said Fire Chief Charlie Thompson. "I've worked on these types of plans for almost 20 years, refining them over time."
Informational Resources and Alert Flyers
Anoka County Coronavirus Info Page
CDC Latest Known Info About Virus
Anoka County COVID-19 Situation Summary
CDC Current Count of Cases
CDC Info Sheet
Coronavirus Fact Sheet in Multiple Languages
Safety Tips for Senior Citizens
Coronavirus Alert Flyer for Displaying in Offices and Other Work Environments (Note: To view these correctly, do not use a Firefox browser): English, Somali, Spanish, Chinese/Mandarin
Coronavirus Symptoms Info Sheet (Note: To view these correctly, do not use the Firefox browser): English, Somali, Spanish
Stop Spread of Germs Flyer (Chinese/Mandarin)
A Safety Message from the CHPD in English and Somali
How To Access Local Library Resources Online While the Libraries are Closed