I want everyone to know the city, the county, the schools, the medical community, our neighboring communities and nonprofits are working together to fight the spread of the virus. We know essential services must continue and they will. Our police and fire departments continue to respond to the needs of our citizens. Cedar Rapids facilities are closed to the public, but we are still operating to provide services to residents.
There are many cities represented within Linn County, and while we are all working together and coordinating efforts and messaging to protect everyone we can, the best place for residents in communities other than Cedar Rapids to find specific information about your community is on your city’s website. For Cedar Rapids residents, our website is cedar-rapids.org.
This is an incredibly difficult time for so many. Our communities have shown we can overcome almost any crisis if everyone pitches in and does what he or she can. Please do what you can by washing your hands well and frequently, staying home and away from groups of people as much as possible, and please do not buy more groceries and supplies than you need. You can also help local businesses by ordering food for takeout or delivery and buying gift cards.
Parents — as much as they might complain, insist your kids stay home during this critical time.
We will get back to “normal” much sooner, and with far fewer people contracting the virus and dying if we all do what’s right — stay home. This fight is far different from our fights with the river. Instead of sandbagging or mucking-out homes, we need you to stay home and physically away from people, especially if they are 60 or older or have underlying medical issues. Please check on your family, friends and co-workers via email, Facebook, text, phone, etc.
Our strength as Iowa communities is that we do come together in times of crisis. In this fight we must still come together — in spirit, in common purpose and in kindness for others.
Students, I know you want to make a difference in the world. Here is your chance. The actions you take today may directly save lives … or cost them. Please stay home and be safe.
Brad Hart is mayor of Cedar Rapids.