Friday, November 20, 2020

City Commissioners Discuss COVID-19 Impact on Staff

COVID-19 has had a slight impact on the City of Sallisaw, with about 10 employees coming up positive since the pandemic began, according to City Manager Keith Skelton. 

Skelton, speaking Friday at a special meeting of the Sallisaw Board of City Commissioners, said there is currently one confirmed case on the staff, with two more possible cases, and six staff members are in quarantine. Skelton said the city is handling the situation on a case-by-case basis but admits the increase in cases around the state is a bit of a concern. 

“We’ve been lucky as far as the city work force,” he said. “There was only one instance where I’ve had to send an entire department home. We’re hanging in there.” 

Skelton said that Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s announcement this week that all bars and restaurants must now close at 11 p.m. shouldn’t have much of an impact on Sallisaw businesses, but it does spotlight the continued need for everyone to be diligent when it comes to safety measures like hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing. 

City Clerk Dianna Davis said the city staff is doing a great job of checking temperatures in the mornings and again at lunch time and they are being extremely cautious on the job. 

Sallisaw Mayor Ernie Martens urged not only City of Sallisaw employees, but all city and area residents to remain vigilant in their health safety measures over the Thanksgiving holiday, pointing out that the recent increase in coronavirus cases in the United States has come right on the heels of Halloween. “Be very careful over the holidays,” he said. 

Martens asked Skelton about a special acquisition the city made due to the pandemic, a machine that makes a disinfectant spray that can be used to treat areas and destroy virus particles and other dangerous substances. Skelton said the machine is on site and the city will release information about it as soon as it is up and running and ready for citizens to use. 

In other business, the commissioners: 

*Approved a 48-month lease-agreement with Altec Industries Inc. of St. Joseph, Mo., for a 2020 Altec 47-foot digger derrick in an amount not to exceed $245,000. 

*Approved an amendment to an audit agreement engagement with FSW&B CPAs PLLC of Stillwater, Okla., in an amount not to exceed $6,500 to cover additional costs related to a single audit. 

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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