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The Baldwin Beacon Special Edition: April 30, 2020

Waiting

The Governor is holding a press release today, April 30th, at 6:30pm regarding what opening up Kansas will look like.

This will be available live via television, radio, and on Facebook. As we wait to hear what her plan for the next few weeks looks like, and then whether Douglas County's Unified Command will choose to release additional local guidelines, here's a look at what Baldwin City is currently doing.

Most public spaces are currently closed to traffic, although offering some services by phone or internet.

We know everyone wants to know when things will open back up. We're collectively tired of life being so strange. Will we be able to walk into the Police Department or City Hall on Monday? When will the library reopen? What about playgrounds?

Our best answer really is we're not sure yet.

The library is eerily quiet, except for school meal pick up.
The Lumberyard Arts Center is making sure everyone has access to masks - which are more important than ever as we begin to emerge from larger bubbles and interact more.
USPS uses a plastic shield for protection.
This pigeon poops hand sanitizer...

City Administration is working on ways to reopen our lobby areas safely, the Police Department is working on methods to safely restore services like VIN inspections, and Public Works...

Well, Public Works is ready for the long haul. Public Works Director Rob Culley sat down with his team in March and hashed out a plan that can work for an indefinite time period. City utilities and every day maintenance has to continue, no doubt about that. Employees need to feel safe and actually BE safe while doing their jobs also.

Public Works Director Rob Culley and Assistant Director Kevin Watts reluctantly pose for a photo.

Here are a few of the changes they implemented and will continue as needed:

  • 10 hour days, 4 days a week
  • No congregating - lunches are quiet affairs in personal vehicles or outdoors
  • One person per vehicle (no riding together)
  • A checklist of questions filled out each morning for each employee, including logging temperature
  • Constantly wiping down high touch areas
  • Making their own disinfectant wipes to ensure supply
  • Extra gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies distributed to personnel
  • Social distancing and face coverings or masks in use whenever possible
A few of Public Works precautions.

Our Police Officers and Fire/EMS people are on the front lines, working with and in direct contact with people every day. What's different for them these days?

There is no simple answer here - everything and nothing is different.

Baldwin City Police Department is specifically doing these things, some of which were already procedure:

  • Wearing face coverings when out and about
  • Wearing N95 masks and gloves as needed for close contact
  • Sanitizing vehicles and high touch surfaces frequently
  • Checking temperatures and filling out a checklist of questions about health daily
  • Relying on dispatch to ask screening questions
  • Observing physical distancing

Baldwin City Volunteer Fire Department is observing many of the same policies as BCPD, including:

  • Face coverings
  • N95 masks and gloves as needed
  • Logging daily temperature checks and health questionnaire
  • Sanitizing, sanitizing, sanitizing
  • Relying on dispatch questions
  • Physical distancing

It's not easy for our first responders right now. The same fears everyone else has are amplified when you can't stay home and by necessity have close contact with the general public. Please take the time to be kind, say something nice, wave at our officers and volunteer fire department. Maybe the worst of the danger has past, maybe it hasn't. But they're still here taking care of us and doing their jobs, and they deserve our respect.

The Baldwin Beacon is our guide to connect you to what you need most, whether that's health info, food & home resources, or answers to your questions. Got something you think should be included? Email media@baldwincity.org.