City Hall areas will remain closed to the general public
City of Sarasota operations “have continued 24/7 throughout the [COVID-19] public health emergency through a combination of employees working at a safe distance in the field, in the office when necessary and remotely,” City Manager Tom Barwin noted in his May 15 newsletter.
“To our knowledge,” Barwin continued, “no employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.”
As of May 26, he continued, staff will begin “a phased approach to reopening City Hall. In Phase I,” he wrote, designated employees — including managers, supervisors and those serving in critical roles — will return the day following Memorial Day, “after completing a self-health checklist and seeking medical follow-up if necessary.
“For everyone’s health, the number of employees allowed in conference rooms will be reduced to maintain a minimum 6-foot distance,” Barwin added, and face masks will be worn in all common areas, such as lobbies, hallways, break rooms, and restrooms.
“When employees return,” Barwin continued, “they will come back to work areas that have undergone deep cleaning and sanitizing over the past two months.”
All facilities will remain closed to the general public during Phase I, Barwin emphasized.
During Phase II, more employees will return and city buildings will gradually open to the public on an appointment-only basis, with social distancing measures in place, Barwin noted. “By Phase III, most if not all employees will be back and buildings will be open to the public,” Barwin wrote. “We will monitor the implementation of Phase I and make necessary adjustments before cautiously moving into the next phase.
“Special thanks to Human Resources Director Stacie Mason and her team,” Barwin added, noting that they had worked closely with city Emergency Manager Todd Kerkering in drafting new return-to-work protocols “to help us reopen in a thoughtful, safe manner.”