El Centro announces emergency declaration

EL CENTRO— The El Centro City Council declared a state of local emergency within the city, March 17, effective immediately in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

According to the release, the purpose of the state of emergency is to give the city manager, as the Director of Emergency Services, authority to take necessary actions to protect citizens, including adjustment of operating hours or closure of certain city facilities and programs and purchase of supplies or expenditure of money as necessary. In addition, pursuant to state law, the City Police Department will be enforcing anti-gouging practices for food and supplies throughout the City. The state of emergency will last for up to 30 days and may be ended or extended.

As part of the declaration of emergency, and as suggested by the federal and state governments and CDC, all upcoming non-essential city events have been cancelled, including the Spring Fling & Flick on March 20 and the Splish Splash Census Bash on March 21. The Mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall scheduled for March 26-29 and the SLAM Fest on May 1 have been postponed until further notice.

The following city facilities will be closed to the public effective March 18 through April 7: Adult Center, Community Center, Conrad Harrison Gym, Old Post Office, main Library and Community Center Library Extension, Martin L. King Sports Pavilion, and the Splash Pad. All City parks including the Skate Park and Aquatic Center will remain open to the public with social distancing guidelines recommended by the California Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

All organized practices at city parks have been cancelled. The city will notify the public as changes are made to facility operations. City Hall remains open to the public; however, the public is asked that in lieu of visiting City Hall, they make utility payments online or payment by check or money order to be dropped off in the drop box at City Hall. Police and fire services continue to be active.

In coordination with that declaration, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been opened under the direction of the Fire Chief. The purpose of the EOC is to coordinate the operation of City departments as well as coordinate with other cities and the County to address health and safety issues arising as a result of the coronavirus.

Please refer to the city website www.cityofelcentro.org for additional information. For anti-gouging complaints, please call ECPD at 760-352-2111. For questions regarding park and recreation programs, please contact 760-337-4555.

For general information about COVID-19, the public is encouraged to visit the Imperial County Public Health Department’s website at www.icdhd.org, the California Department of Public Health website at www.cdph.ca.gov , or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov. The public is encouraged to follow the City’s official social media platforms for the most updated information.

If you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact the City of El Centro, city manager’s office at 760-337-4540.

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