Citing COVID surge, Independence reduces hours
Due to the area’s surge in COVID-19 cases, as well as cases among city staff, the city of Independence will scale back hours open to the public for some city facilities, particularly City Hall and the police headquarters.
In a release, Mayor Eileen Weir says more than 20 city employees have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks, and more than 100 additional employees are in quarantine for possible exposure – about 10 percent of the city’s workforce. In addition to some reduced hours for the public, all city staff who are able to work from home will be required to do so. Currently, 24 members of city staff are in isolation with active cases, and there have been 63 total since the pandemic started.
Beginning Monday, city facilities will be open for the following times:
• City Hall, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays.
• Police headquarters, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays.
• Independence Utilities Center, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for customer service windows.
• Sermon Community Center, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, closed on Sundays.
• Truman Memorial Building, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, closed Friday and Sunday.
• Municipal Court (lower level of City Hall), 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to noon Friday. Youth Court office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.
• Uptown Market, open for events as posted.
Citizens can still pay utility bills at the Utilities Center drive-thru, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as at the customer service windows in the lobby. A drop box at City Hall is also available each day.
Visitors to public buildings will undergo a health screening before entering and are required to wear a mask or face covering at all times. Social distancing guidelines will be enforced. City Council meetings will continue in a hybrid format with strict mask and social distancing requirements. For more information, visit indep.us/coronavirus.
The city has also used some CARES Act funding to help technology services for more remote work and virtual meetings.
“Over the last two weeks we have seen a troubling spike not only in cases in the region but also in our staff,” Weir said in a release. “We are not taking this situation lightly. To ensure we are able to provide the services our citizens depend on, we must take additional steps to protect the health of our staff and the health of the community we serve.”