COVID-19: What the City of Colorado Springs is doing

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The City of Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency ManagementThe City and County are consolidating their Offices of Emergency Management in an effort to optimize staff resources, establish a single point of contact during major incidences and enhance communication both during and after an event. The new office, the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management (PPR-OEM) will support operations during a disaster or emergency in El Paso County and Colorado Springs.Because disaster knows no jurisdictional boundaries, we can most efficiently prepare for an emergency and respond to one by coordinating our efforts on a regional basis. The establishment of the PPR-OEM will allow the county and the city to more effectively coordinate and assist first responders in an emergency as well as preparing the government and the community for a disaster. have been working with El Paso County Public Health over the past couple weeks around COVID-19. We have been monitoring the progression of the COVID-19 virus in our community as well as in other cities. We are working hand-in-hand with County government and El Paso County Health, which is the lead agency on this topic.

As the lead agency, El Paso County Health is working with the state (CDPHE) and the CDC in obtaining the most accurate and up-to-date information, and we are following their guidance.

Actions the City is taking

The City of Colorado Springs will continue to provide essential government services while also implementing select modified operations to comply with orders and public health recommendations related to COVID-19. Those temporary changes are detailed below. 

“Our City is committed to providing the best public service possible, and doing so in a safe and responsible manner,” said Mayor John Suthers. “While certain facilities must close in accordance with public health guidance, we are leveraging technology and other safe solutions to keep the City up and running, and to continue our progress as a community. We thank everyone for their patience with these changes, and hope that by working together and taking the advisement of the top health agencies very seriously, we can minimize the impact of this emergency.”

    State of Emergency Declared

    On Monday, March 16, Mayor John Suthers declared a State of Emergency for the City of Colorado Springs in response to the COVID-19 virus.

    "I declared a local State of Emergency because it gives the City its best ability to respond to the COVID-19 virus. The declaration does two things; first, it makes the City eligible for federal relief funding as it becomes available; second, it provides authority for Mayoral regulations that can be put in to place rapidly to address the situation as needed. This should not be cause for further alarm, but a signal that our city continues to monitor the situation and respond in a prudent, efficient and effective manner in constant coordination with our partners at El Paso County Health and El Paso County. " Mayor John Suthers

    Read the proclamation 

    Facilities and Operational Changes

    City Administration Building

    The City Administration Building, including public services for City Clerk, Planning, Land Use Review, Sales Tax and Public Works will be open to the public on the lobby level only. Business usually conducted on higher floors will be reserved to a dropbox system in the lobby. City employees will be available from 8a-5p via phone or email for questions and assistance.

    • Public Works, Planning and Land Use Review: Plans can be left in the dropbox on the first floor lobby level of the City Administration Building. Plans, documents and applications must be neatly folded or rolled, packaged and clearly marked with the recipient’s name, preferably with a transmittal letter. Employees in each department will be available via phone or email to review and answer questions. effective Monday
    • Similar arrangements are being implemented for the Development Review Enterprise located at the Regional Development Center. effective Monday
    • City Clerk:  License and renewal applications can be deposited in a dropbox on the lobby level. Envelopes with a tamper-proof seal will be provided for the documents and payments. Employees will be available via phone or email to review and answer questions. effective Monday
    • Sales Tax:  Online remittance of sales tax is encouraged.  Please call 719-385- 5903 or email us at salestax@coloradosprings.gov to receive personalized assistance.  The phone line and email will be monitored daily.  Sales tax forms will be available in the lobby.  Checks may be left in the drop box, however cash will not be accepted in the lobby. effective Monday
    • Pharmacy: Remains open to City and CSU employees however, in person pickup will be suspended starting April 6, 2020.
      • The pharmacy encourages people to use their mail order service. Please plan ahead 3-5 days to allow the delivery to your home. If you have an urgent same day prescription need, please call the pharmacy to make arrangements.
      • Over the counter medications and supplies (if available) can be included in the mail delivery. Please call the pharmacy to request items.
      • If you have used interoffice delivery in the past and are requesting a refill, please call the pharmacy to confirm your delivery location. 

    City Hall

    ​City Hall Building will close to the public, but services will continue online and via phone. Those who are submitting bids can do so online, or via the dropbox located in the City Administration Building. effective Monday

    • City Council Meetings: City Council meetings will be held in an online / broadcast environment only. While Councilors may gather at City Hall, public can view or participate using technology. These solutions will be communicated to the public as soon as possible.

    Municipal Court

    The Colorado Springs Municipal Court is delaying in-person court proceedings effective Thursday, March 19th, until further notice. Staff remains available to take phone calls and to re-schedule court hearings by phone or email. Clerks are available at 719-385-5922. Those who have an appointment with Probation or who have a question, please contact Probation at 719-385-5923. effective now

    • Jury Duty: Those that have been scheduled for jury duty, should not report, and are asked to contact the Jury Commissioner at 719-385-5926. effective now

    Related: The Colorado Springs Municipal Court is closed effective 3/19/20

    Traffic Offense Point Reductions

    The Colorado Springs City Attorney's Office - Prosecution Division in cooperation with the Colorado Springs Municipal Court in response to the COVID-19 closures have implemented a process to allow individuals with pending qualifying traffic matters an effective and efficient way to resolve those matters without having to appear in Court.  

    If you have been charged with a traffic offense carrying a point assessment of 4 points or 3 points and your case is payable as indicated on the front of your ticket then upon payment within 20 days of the date of violation the Prosecution Division will automatically reduce the number of points assessed against your DMV record by 2 points.

    We hope this will allow many of you a convenient way to resolve your pending cases.

    Parking Enterprise

    Parking Enterprise has suspended enforcement of parking meters, time limited and non-metered parking areas along with booting until Thursday, April 30. All parking meters in downtown Colorado Springs and Old Colorado City will be free and without time limits. Structured parking will also be free. Some parking enforcement will continue

    Airport

    At this time, the COS Airport is not under any travel restrictions. They are working closely with the airlines and federal agencies and will follow any travel restrictions that are put in place, and keep public informed of any changes.

    As the COVID-19 public health emergency remains fluid, COS will continue to work with local and state agencies to ensure that COS continues to follow all recommended practices and procedures from the CDC.  We have incorporated several measures within our facility to help prevent the spread of disease and increase education and awareness. This includes:

    • Additional hand sanitizing stations strategically placed throughout the Airport.
    • Increased cleaning frequencies of all flat surfaces like handrails, elevators and bathrooms.
    • Educational information provided by the CDC is available throughout our facility.

    While airport concessions are exempt from Governor’s Order Number 20-22, the health and well-being of our passengers and employees is our priority and recent changes have been put in place temporarily closing or reducing the hours of some Airport concessionaires.

    • Novo Coffee – opening at 8AM
    • Bristol Taproom – opening at 8AM
    • jetBox – temporarily closed
    • CNBC – temporarily closed
    • Liquid Provisions – temporarily closed
    • Springs Marketplace – 6AM - 5PM
    • Valet parking operations will be temporarily suspended for in-bound travelers.
    • Mortgage Solutions Financial™ Premier Lounge will be temporarily closed until further notice.
    • Premier Lounge members will be able to park in short-term parking at no cost and are instructed to use a manned booth when exiting to have their ticket validated.

    RelatedAirport offers 50 percent off parking for college students through April 15
    RelatedCOS February 2020 Traffic Report & COVID-19 Response Update

    Mountain Metro

    Mountain Metro continues to provide local fixed-route bus service and Metro Mobility ADA paratransit service for Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region.

    Mountain Metro buses are using rear door entrance only to better meet social distancing for drivers. They are not using fare boxes. At least one empty seat should be between passengers when possible.  

    They are taking additional measures to keep vehicles clean and customers and employees healthy. Buses and ADA paratransit vehicles are being cleaned every day with hospital-grade disinfectant. Teams are wiping down seats, steering wheels, handles, buckles, stop request pull cords, and other high-touch areas.

    Due to a shortage of reporting bus drivers, fixed route bus service reductions are being implemented. These modifications and other information can be found at www.coloradosprings.gov/mountain-metro .

    Related: Mountain Metro Cancels Shuttle That Services Manitou Springs Incline 
    Related: Mountain Metro Bus Services Reductions

    Fire Department

    Colorado Springs Police and Fire are trained for disasters and emergencies. While taking appropriate precautions, they will continue to respond and assist our community in line with their training

    Those submitting plans directly to the Division of the Fire Marshal must submit them electronically. Note that all plans previously submitted via hardcopy will still be reviewed, and the Division of the Mire Marshal will work with these applicants to the best of our ability. 

    Related: Directions for submitting plans to the Fire Marshal electronically 
    Related: Fire Department implements new field triage procedures

    Statement from Chief Collas 3/24/20

    Chief Collas COVID 19 Message March 24, 2020

    Police Department

    Colorado Springs Police and Fire are trained for disasters and emergencies. While taking appropriate precautions, they will continue to respond and assist our community in line with their training.

    Read more about CSPD Operations During COVID-19

    Statement from Chief Niski 3/19/20

    (Read statement)

    Chief Niski - COVID-19

    Economic Development

    City Economic Development is working with partner agencies to provide up-to-date information from reliable sources to ensure that small businesses have the resources they need during these uncertain times. To learn more visit Helping Businesses Respond to COVID-19.

    Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services

    All educational and recreational programming, special events and facility rentals are suspended until further notice. Physical parks offices are closed to the public, but employees continue to conduct City business remotely. See below for information about specific parks and facilities.

    Parks, Trails, and Open Spaces

    Parks, trails and open spaces are open per the governor’s Stay-at-Home order. However, this does not mean you should use these spaces as you normally would. If you choose to participate in responsible outdoor recreation, please adhere to the following at all times:

    • Playgrounds, pavilions and other gathering spaces are closed. These areas are considered high risk for increasing transmission.
    • No organized group activities or recreation. All gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason other than critical business or government functions are banned per the Stay-at-Home order.
    • Do not use parks, trails and open spaces if you are exhibiting symptoms. If you or your children are experiencing symptoms, it’s important to stay home when sick.
    • Follow the CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks or trails. Bring hand sanitizer with you to clean your hands if soap and water are not available.
    • Observe the minimum recommended physical social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals. If this is not possible, users should find an alternate location or depart that space. Practice it and know what it looks like.
    • While on trails, warn other users of your presence before you pass, and step aside to let others pass. Signal your presence with your voice, bell or horn.
    • Users may find public restrooms closed. Be prepared before you leave and time outings so that you are not dependent on public restrooms.
    • Bring water or drinks. Public drinking fountains may be disabled and should not be used, even if operable.
    • Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trace, take everything out to protect park workers.

    All educational and recreational programming, special events and facility rentals are suspended until further notice. Physical parks offices are closed to the public, but employees continue to conduct City business remotely and in the field. 

    Garden of the Gods and Rock Ledge Ranch

    • Garden of the Gods Park is open, but all programming offered in at the park is suspended until further notice.  The Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center, operated by the Garden of the Gods Foundation, is also closed until further notice.
    • Rock Ledge Ranch historic site is open, however, all programming  is suspended until further notice.

    Golf Courses

    Policies and procedures have been adjusted at the city's two municipal golf courses – Patty Jewett and Valley Hi – to provide a safe and compliant outdoor recreation option for residents during the state’s stay-at-home order. Online reservations can be made starting Saturday, April 4, and the courses will open for play on Sunday, April 5.

    Modifications include the exclusive use of online tee times and payments (no walk-on play permitted), walking-only play, suspension of rental carts and other equipment, and the removal of shared touchable surfaces, including bunker rakes, ball washers, water stations and scorecards. The clubhouses are closed for public use, and food and beverage service is suspended. The driving range is also closed, and the practice area is open only to those with tee times, which are available from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

    Pikes Peak - America's Mountain

    Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain is open to online ticket purchases only to minimize the interaction between visitors and gate rangers. The Summit House and all gift shops are closed through April 2. Restrooms are available in other locations along the highway, however, no services, including restrooms, will be available on the summit during this time.

    Pioneers Museum

    The Pioneers Museum is closed until further notice. It is instead offering a free Children’s History Hour through Facebook Live and digital exhibits are available at www.cspm.org.

    Sports and Recreation

    All spring youth and adult recreation programs and activities, including the Therapeutic Recreation Program (TRP), are cancelled. Sport facilities and rentals are also closed until further notice.

    Community Centers

    The Deerfield Hills, Hillside and Meadows Park community centers are closed until further notice.

    Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center

    Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center will be closed until further notice. All programming is suspended until further notice. North Cheyenne Cañon Park remains open.

    Special Events

    All scheduled and reserved events are postponed or cancelled until further notice. This includes special events permitted through the City’s Office of Special Events as well as events booked in the City Auditorium, the three City-operated community centers (Deerfield Hills, Hillside and Meadows Park), Sertich Ice Center and the two municipal golf courses (Patty Jewett and Valley Hi). The City is working with permit and reservation holders to communicate these impacts.

    Online Services

    As always, there are many ways to interact and do business with the City online. The City is committed to continuing to conduct business in the safest way possible during this emergency. A list of online services is below:

    General Actions

    • To help stop the spread of disease, we are placing sanitation stations at public city facilities that remain open.
    • Regular policy meetings with key staff and El Paso County Public Health representatives to keep up-to-date with developments around COVID-19
    • Communications staff is working daily with El Paso County Public Health and sharing their recommendations and communication about proper hygiene and preventing the spread of illnesses, including COVID-19
    • We are actively reviewing and updating our plans to continue City operations if the virus becomes more widespread in our community.  

    Employee Information

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