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After review of the COVID-19 pandemic conditions, the City of West Fargo administration has decided to extend closure of all public buildings and the work-from-home directive for employees until Friday, April 17, 2020. This means the West Fargo City Hall, West Fargo Public Library, West Fargo Police Department, West Fargo Fire Department stations, Public Works Department and Sanitation Department are closed to the public.
During this closure, essential services will remain in operation, including emergency services, sanitation, streets, sewer and water maintenance, and utility billing, but changes may be in place to accommodate the work-from-home directive and social distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH). Because the virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person, they recommend avoiding groups of 10 or more and maintaining distance from others when possible. NDDoH also recently issued a new executive order requiring all individuals traveling back to North Dakota from international locations and states in the U.S. that have been classified as having widespread disease quarantine immediately upon reentry to the State of North Dakota for a period of 14 days.
For example, the sanitation department is no longer collecting loose items curbside. All items that do not fit inside of a collection bin must be bagged and tied. Large items, such as couches and appliances, will only be collected curbside Fridays. Residents are encouraged to have the materials at the curb on their regular day for sanitation crews to mark the location for Friday’s collection. The Transfer Station has also extended its hours of operation to accommodate extra garbage.
Other changes include the West Fargo Police Department suspending fingerprinting and car seat checks. The West Fargo Fire Department is utilizing additional gear when responding to calls. Building inspections have created new procedures and delayed building inspections, and public meetings and hearings will be held virtually and available through the City of West Fargo YouTube channel and the public access channel. The West Fargo City Commission also approved alcohol delivery sales for establishments with applicable liquor licenses. The West Fargo Municipal Court has also suspended hearings through May 6, 2020.
Due to the closures, the West Fargo Public Library has launched the West Fargo Public Library at Home! program, which offers digital versions of the library’s popular programs. This includes live story times for young children via Facebook Live, an online book club for adults, interactive craft and family activity videos and educational resources on www.westfargolibrary.org. The library has had to close book drops and vending machines during the closures. Due dates and holds will be extended until May 4, 2020. Additional programs will be announced on the West Fargo Public Library’s website and social media channels.
To keep track of the latest City of West Fargo COVID-19 service changes, sign up for alerts at www.westfargond.gov/alerts or join @CityofWestFargo on Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor and LinkedIn. The City of West Fargo also recommends utilizing Fargo Cass Public Health, North Dakota Department of Health and the CDC for health-related information regarding COVID-19. Local businesses should refer to the North Dakota Department of Commerce for business and employer resources.