COVID-19: Beaverton closes City Hall and Municipal Court as a precaution
Beaverton has closed all city buildings to the public for several days through Sunday, March 22.
The closures affect City Hall, where most city offices are, and the Griffith Drive Building that houses the municipal court. Remote business transactions by phone and internet with city staff are still allowed.
The building closures, which took effect on noon Wednesday, may be extended.
The City Council met in its first-floor chambers for an hourlong meeting Tuesday night. But the agenda was cut short, and a reporter was the only person present, aside from city officials. Even three of the five councilors took part by telephone to allow for social distancing recommended by health experts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Most city services were already limited to telephone calls and online access through March 29; over-the-counter service had been suspended. The main library and the Murray Scholls branch were already closed. The passport counter on the first floor of The Beaverton Building/City Hall, which is not a city service, is closed through April 1.
Essential services will continue such as police and public works. The Beaverton Severe Weather Shelter at the Beaverton Community Center will continue to operate through its scheduled seasonal closure at the end of March. It is open on Thursdays, and when the forecast calls for two consecutive days of freezing temperatures.
"We are committed to maintaining essential services for our community, especially our most vulnerable residents," Mayor Denny Doyle said in a statement. "We also have a commitment to lead by example and act responsibly and in the best interest of our staff and others."
Doyle invoked a city emergency declaration on Friday, March 13. The council approved, and he signed on Tuesday, a second declaration calling a temporary halt to residential evictions for the duration of the emergency. Doyle already suspended water shutoffs and library fines.
The city is working on details of a grant program to assist businesses with rents or mortgage payments during the emergency. Details will be announced soon.
Doyle's declaration triggered the opening of the city's emergency operations center.
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