Lake City Hall and a swath of recreational spaces are closed to the public, as local shutdowns ramp up in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.
City Hall announced Thursday that, starting today, the building would be cordoned off to the general population. Payment of city utility bills can be made online, or checks and money orders can be deposited in a drop box located outside City Hall.
“The Coronavirus (COVID19) is a grave threat to our community, especially those with chronic medical conditions,” city officials wrote in a press release. “COVID19 is known to cause a serious lung infection that may present symptoms ranging from mild to severe. In some cases, it may cause death. The City of Lake City is fighting this menace in a number of ways. Staff are maintaining good hygiene, social isolation and encouraging the public to do the same. With these steps, we can slow the spread of this virus, and allow healthcare professionals to care for the needs of those who are infected. We are confident that if everyone does their part, many people will be saved from this dangerous threat, who would otherwise perish.”
City departments are still functioning, and residents can call the main phone line and ask for assistance if necessary, according to the press release.
“Every effort is being made to accommodate your needs, while minimizing contact with other people,” the statement reads.
All city parks will also remain closed starting today, effective until the end of March.
“We will re-evaluate the situation at that time, to determine if the closing needs to continue” City Manager Joe Helfenberger said in the statement. “We are confident that, with your help, we can slow the spread of COVID19. We appreciate the cooperation of all citizens as we protect each other from this dangerous menace.”
Any pre-paid reservations will be refunded.
The county announced Thursday that all its recreational areas and community centers are closed until further notice. That includes the Southside Sports Complex, Alligator Lake Recreation Area, Falling Creek Falls, Five Points Park, Bethlehem Park, Rum Island, Richardson Community Center and more.
More information is available at columbiacountyfla.com/ParksandRecreation.asp.
The county’s charter review board has canceled its March 23 meeting.
At the county courthouse, non-essential proceedings have been halted for the circuit court and county-level proceedings are on pause as well.