CORONAVIRUS

Marion starting coronavirus recovery task force

Marion Mayor Nick AbouAssaly speaks at a Marion State of the City luncheon at the Best Western Plus Longbranch Hotel & C
Marion Mayor Nick AbouAssaly speaks at a Marion State of the City luncheon at the Best Western Plus Longbranch Hotel & Convention Center in Marion. On Thursday, he announced formation of a COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force to recommend steps in the city’s recovery from the pandemic. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

MARION — The city of Marion is organizing a COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force to explore, recommend and implement recovery efforts from the novel coronavirus.

The 10-person panel will present recommendations to city leaders and spearhead recovery efforts. Its members should be anounced by month’s end.

The task force will include representatives from local government, business and economic development, education, health, human services and faith communities.

“While the priority at this time remains mitigation and slowing the spread of the virus, we should also be thinking and planning for life after the surge and living with the virus in our community,” Mayor Nick AbouAssaly said during a Linn County Public Health news conference Thursday.

“While we’re not out of the woods yet, we want to be proactive and prepared for what things will look like when we can eventually return to normal activities,” he said.

The mayor said the success in combating the virus will be in how well the community is able to unite and “work collectively.”

During the news conference, AbouAssaly thanked health care workers and gave a special shoutout to long-term care workers. He said he spent time this week calling directors of senior living facilities to thank them.

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A long-term care facility in Marion, Linn-Manor Care Center, is one of three long-term care facilities in Linn County to have an outbreak of COVID-19.

“All people working in long-term care facilities are just as exposed as other front-line workers,” AbouAssaly said. “We can all do something to show them they are valued. If you know people caring for older adults, take the time to reach out to them and express your appreciation and support.”

Marion is collaborating with its economic development partners, the Marion Economic Development Corporation and the Marion Chamber of Commerce, in its response to COVID-19.

“As we look ahead to the recovery phase of this crisis, it’s important to have a diverse cross-section of the community informing our response,” Marion City Manager Lon Pluckhahn said in a news release. “We want Marion to be on the leading edge of recovery efforts, with the well-being of our people and businesses at the forefront.”

Comments: (319) 368-8664; grace.king@thegazette.com

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Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

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