March 16, 2020
To all Wayzata Residents, Business Owners, and Community Members,
With many confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hennepin County, please know that the City of Wayzata is closely monitoring the public health impacts of COVID-19 and collaborating with our partners at Hennepin County and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to implement community mitigation strategies in Wayzata that enhance our safety and slow the spread of this disease.
The news around COVID-19 is changing rapidly. It is therefore important for the City to keep residents timely informed about COVID-19 and the latest precautionary recommendations. It is also important for all of us to be proactive about our health and the health of those close to us by practicing good hygiene, being careful with meetings and travel, staying home when sick, and seeking assistance from health care providers if COVID-19-like symptoms emerge.
We are told by public health officials that for the general public, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 remains low. However, even if you have not been directly exposed to anyone with COVID-19 or have not visited an ongoing outbreak area, people can be transmitters of the virus without being symptomatic. Therefore it is recommended that everyone continue to practice routine healthy hygiene habits to help prevent the spread of coronavirus or other respiratory illnesses by practicing social distancing, washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds; covering coughs and sneezes; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; and staying home if sick. All of these simple preventative measures greatly reduce the risk of contraction coronavirus and therefore reduce demands on our health care providers so the most seriously ill people can get the care they need.
As of 3/16/2020, MDH has recommended the following activities be canceled or postponed:
- Large events where 250 people or more would gather, including but not limited to:
- Professional, college and school performances or sporting events
- Smaller events (fewer than 250 people) held in auditoriums, rooms or other venues that do not allow social distancing of at 6 feet per person.
- Events with more than 10 people where the majority of participants are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including gatherings such as those at:
- Retirement facilities
- Assisted living facilities
- Developmental homes
- Support groups for people with health conditions
Based on the advice of MDH, the City has already limited access to public facilities, scaled back non-essential City services, and canceled almost all public meetings in the near future as a precaution intended to decrease the amount of social contact between people, which we are told will slow the spread of the virus. We will reopen our facilities and resume all services as soon as the threat of the virus has sufficiently subsided and in line with MDH guidelines.
For more information about what City facilities are open and closed, please regularly check the City’s website at Wayzata.org or sign up for “In the News” emails or texts at https://www.wayzata.org/list.aspx
Please also beware of discriminatory and scamming activity. The City of Wayzata is often a target for this type of behavior. It’s an unfortunate fact that at a time like this that there are some who would attempt to discriminate and take advantage of the fears of others. Viruses don’t discriminate and stigmas won’t fight coronavirus. Also, be on the alert as scam artists are busy trying to profit from the crisis surrounding the coronavirus. Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for tips on avoiding scams.
In addition, we encourage everyone to immediately begin planning for how your immediate and extended family would respond if one or more family members gets sick. What would you do if you were exposed? How are you taking responsibility for hygiene? If you are employed, how is your employer handling leave and payroll questions related to COVID-19? Visit www.ready.gov for some tips to help you prepare for a variety of situations that could affect your family or work.
Finally, please remember that there is an important distinction between preparation and panic. We take the time and effort to prepare for emergencies so that we do not panic when they happen. That is what we should all be doing in Wayzata. While COVID-19 will undoubtedly affect some of our family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers, I am confident our wonderful Wayzata community will take action to support and protect one another and come out of this pandemic as a much stronger community.
We’ll get through this.
Mayor of Wayzata
City Council Members