GILBERT — Gov. Tim Walz earlier this month issued an executive order that all "critical sector businesses, including government entities such as cities, are required to adopt a COVID-19 preparedness plan." The Gilbert City Council on Tuesday at its regular meeting adopted such a plan.

The council meeting, which was held with some officials at the City Hall and others on YouTube from their homes, was broadcast live on local public access TV. The meetings can also be viewed later.

James Paulsen, executive administrative clerk, outlined the plan. Here are highlights:

"Our employees are our most important assets... Employees are instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of their shift.... Doors to multi-stall restrooms should be able to be opened without touching the handle... Community drinking fountains should not be used.... City shall provide tisues for proper cough/sneeze etiquette."

It further states, "Employees are required to wear face masks at all times while in any public spaces in any facility.... " Social distancing is also addressed, including allowing flexible work hours, maintaining at least six feet of separation between individuals, avoiding using items commonly used by others such as phones, computers and desks, and installing barriers at counters in city hall and library.

Housekeeping practices are to be followed, such as disinfecting work surfaces and equipment. "A variety of products may be used to disinfect, including Alpha HP, 10 percent bleach solution, 70 percent isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, soap and water, Chlorox wipes."

All visitors will be required to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering city hall and are required to wear face masks. "Contactless payment should be used when possible. If contactless payments are not possible, payment must be made in a manner that allowqs for at least 6 feet distance between the worker and customer."

The policy in its entirety is available by calling City Hall at 748-2232.

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