Outline of the City’s response to our questions

logo Latest in a series of posts on the coronavirus logo

Bethlehem’s Mayor Donchez is joined by Department Heads
answer resident’s questions
30 mins.

Mayor Donchez:

  • City Hall open, other places closed
  • some extensions on taxes
  • parking fees waived
  • don’t flush wipes, etc.
  • water shut-offs suspended
  • collections suspended
  • unlikely the pool will open this year
  • Compost center re-opens next Wednesday for drop-off only,
  • Musik-Fest, no decision yet
  • street-cleaning continuing but moving cars is suspended
  • thanked Wind Creek for making payments and other contributions
  • thanked colleges, universities, hospitals

Kristen Wenrich, Bethlehem Health Bureau Director (min. 7:15)

  • investigate close contacts
  • 325 cases, 2 deaths
  • 11% hospitalized
  • 20.8% positivity
  • 40% non-white, 45% Hispanic, 14% unknown
  • 65% white,  13.5% African American, 2% Asian
  • providing education for specific populations
  • 25-49 age group is highest, over 65 low
  • 46 is average age of cases, 55 for hospitalization
  • outbreaks in 3 long-term care facilities
  • more household related cases
  • not recommending that mild cases get tested
  • contact health provider or hospital hot lines
  • hospital capacity, both have capacity and equipment
  • addressing homeless population
  • medical reserve corps activated
  • mass testing/contact tracing
  • shortage of testing kits

Bob Novatnack, Emergency Management Coordinator (min. 12:25)

  • no tested positives on staff
  • all shifts working
  • calls are down
  • counseling people on distancing
  • traffic is light
  • food chain strong
  • keep 6ft social distancing

Alicia Karner, Director Community and Economic Development (min. 14:30)

  • continue to issue permits for emergency work
  • procedures for certificate of occupancy for sales/rentals
  • STR for emergency medical staff: contact hospitals and hotels
  • development projects: Martin Tower, etc, halted if non-essential

Mike Alkhal, Director of Public Works (min. 18:05)

  • adjusted shifts
  • insured work places safe
  • continue all operations as long as can be done safely
  • street sweeping: doing it safely, but no ticketing
  • open for business, moving forward

Eric Evans, Business Administrator (min. 20:55)

  • all depts. fully operational
  • City Hall operational
  • Human Resources especially important
  • in contact with peer cities across state
  • number #1 priority for employees is safety
  • social distancing and split shifts
  • finances: unknown length, what see on other side
  • relatively strong position financially
  • will be drop in revenue
  • Wind Creek payment is good
  • need to drop expenses
  • part-time staff reduced
  • overtime reduced
  • hiring freeze
  • infrastructure projects extended
  • reviewing line items
  • reviewing programming, may be tough decisions
  • balance sheet is strong and making appropriate adjustments

Mayor Donchez (min. 27:20):

  • thanks to all

Leave a Reply