ALEXANDRIA — The Alexandria City Council on Monday voted unanimously to extend Mayor Todd Naselroad’s March 16 emergency order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ordinance affirms Gov. Eric Holcomb’s stay-at-home order; cancels all nonessential public meetings and determines that any meetings deemed essential be conducted electronically; and restricts municipal buildings to essential workers and medical relief workers. The ordinance also provides a number of protections for employees as they relate to the coronavirus, establishes the procedures to be used by the clerk-treasurer and protects residents from utility disconnections.
City Attorney Micha Buffington said the ordinance attempts to bring state and federal language intending to manage the epidemic into one ordinance.
“We all know these pandemic things are changing by the minute,” she said. “This ordinance tries to take all of the changes together with all the functions unique to our municipality.”
The meeting, like those of several other nearby municipalities, took place over the Zoom electronic platform.
Though the meetings for the foreseeable future will be conducted electronically, the ordinance said, those wishing to attend may do so as long as there are no more than 10 people in a room, which is in accordance with order from the state and federal governments. However, the order does not explain how that would be accomplished since the council members join the meetings online from their homes.
“All attendees shall make an effort to stay more than 6 feet apart and be in good health,” the ordinance said. This also is in keeping with state and federal orders based on public health guidelines.
Parks will be allowed to remain open. But like the municipal buildings, playgrounds, skate parks, basketball and tennis courts, and other shared activity spaces will be closed to the public.
The ordinance also protects the rights of city workers who will not be fired for absences or be required to use their paid time off, including sick leave or vacation time if they are suspected of carrying the coronavirus and awaiting tests, sick from the virus, caring for sick family members who have the virus or caring for children who are out of school because of state-mandated closures.
The ordinance also describes requirements for city employees who work remotely. Including that they must email their supervisors when they start their work, communicate regularly throughout the workday with their supervisors, and track their time and tasks.