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City of Newton - Administration

Posted on: March 26, 2020

A Letter from Mayor Hansen

To the Citizens of Newton:

I’ve been approached about issuing a "shelter-in-place" order for Newton or working with the County for a county-wide shelter-in-place order.

Here’s my thinking on it...

This link (https://bit.ly/2QNxa7s) goes to Wisconsin’s statewide "Safer at Home" (i.e., shelter-in-place) emergency order, which went into effect yesterday morning for 30 days. In reading through it carefully, Iowa has already implemented the same provisions through Governor Reynold’s Proclamations, except that Wisconsin also banned the use of playgrounds.

The Wisconsin provision states only essential businesses will be open, but that’s a vast net that includes places like Menards, Wal-Mart, gas stations, all grocery stores, nearly all construction sites, banks, etc. And in the Wisconsin shelter-in-place order, people are still encouraged to use parks and trails while practicing social distancing. We’re already doing that, too.

So at this point, I’m not seeing that a shelter-in-place order really adds value yet. Once we DO get to that point, whether at the City, County, or state level, I expect we’d be looking at rigorous enforcement and highly restricted movements.

If/when we get to that point, I’m prepared to enforce it.

In the meantime, DO stay at home as much as humanly possible. Ask your employer for a work-at-home option if that’s available; limit your movements to essential actions only in the coming weeks.

And prepare yourselves (and your families) for that shelter-in-place order, whether from the state or County. It may come sooner rather than later.

Very respectfully,
Mayor Michael L. Hansen

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