Mayor: Tough times are when our community shines brightest

March 18, 2020 11:34 AM

While this pandemic is unprecedented, my experience in Whitefish has shown me the tough times are when our community shines the brightest. As we all face challenges on a daily basis, I am empathic to everyone’s unique state of affairs, knowing many families and businesses are under enormous stress during this rapidly changing situation. To date, we have no reported cases of the new coronavirus in Whitefish and we ask everyone to be vigilant in best practices in the hope we can remain fortunate.

Please review and remind others to:

• Practice “social distancing” by staying 6-feet from others and canceling gatherings of 10 people or more (no gatherings for immunocompromised people and/or 60+ years).

• Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue (or your elbow).

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

• Stay away from work, school, or other people if you become sick.

• Contact your medical provider before going to their office.

• Communicate with 911 operators if you are requesting ambulance service and have symptoms of a respiratory illness so that our first responders know to wear appropriate personal protection equipment.

As we pride ourselves on being welcoming, friendly, and community-oriented, we are encouraging our citizens to be extra compassionate, kind, and supportive to each other while maintaining safe, social distancing (remember, a minimum of 6-feet). As such, please consider the following:

• We encourage residents to check on their elderly neighbors and to offer assistance when possible. Perhaps you could go grocery shopping for them to reduce their exposure and be sure they have adequate nutrition.

• We encourage residents to patronize our local businesses by buying local and utilizing restaurant delivery or takeout.

• We encourage residents to purchase gift cards to their favorite places to help our local shops get through a time of decreased business. And it’s never too early to shop for special occasions.

• Consider a donation to the North Valley Food Bank or kid’s Backpack Assistance Program or a nonprofit of your choice, to support those compromised during these tough times.

On Monday evening at our regularly scheduled meeting, the City Council adopted an emergency ordinance outlining various measures we are taking to slow the spread of coronavirus, support our residents and local businesses, protect public health and the general welfare of the city, and ensure city services remain operational. We will provide updates on our website at http://www.cityofwhitefish.org/ and through our email notification system. If you would like to sign up for email notifications, you can do so at http://www.cityofwhitefish.org/city- hall/email-notifications.php or by visiting our website and clicking the link in the lower right-hand corner.

Thanks for being the compassionate and generous community I am honored to serve. Please take good care of one another.

Mayor John M. Muhlfeld