Weekly COVID-19 Response Update from Mayor Ley (March 30-April 5)

 In City Leadership

These are unprecedented and stressful times for our country. I want to provide a weekly update on local developments and resources as a way for our community members to know we are standing with them and supporting each other as we navigate this new norm.

First of all, thank you to local healthcare workers, first responders and all those on the front lines. Thank you seems so insufficient right now, but our community is grateful for all the ways you are serving in the midst of COVID-19. I also appreciate the way community members have stepped up—complying with CDC and Indiana guidelines on social distancing and sheltering in place, supporting local businesses that are still open, and lending a helping hand to neighbors. This time has truly exemplified our community spirit.

There is only one confirmed COVID-19 case in DeKalb County, from the latest updates I’ve received. I spoke with Tasha Eicher, President of Parkview DeKalb Hospital, earlier today, and she asked that I remind the community about their free phone screenings, ways to support hospital staff as well as their online resources.

Helpful Resources
These are undoubtedly worrisome times for many in our community, particularly from an economic standpoint. Many in the service and manufacturing industries, as well as several small businesses, have been furloughed or laid off (even temporarily). In addition to seeking unemployment benefits, I encourage you to tap into local resources for assistance during these tough times. You can contact 2-1-1, a free, confidential, 24-hour information and referral assistance for housing and shelter, food, legal aid, clothing, counseling, utility assistance and more. DeKalb County Central United Schools is also providing food to local children. Plus, you can find a list of local resources, including food pantries, shelter and mental health services, on the 19 Seconds of Joy website. And, rest assured, as part of the state mandate, no utilities will be shut off during this time because of non-payment.

Other resources you may find useful include:

  • Online activities for kids and families: Auburn Parks and Recreation has put together a daily list of activities to encourage activity and connectivity (from a distance, of course).
  • Support local businesses: Follow DeKalb Chamber Partnership for list of local businesses to support during COVID-19.
  • Ways to get involved: Follow Auburn Main Street for ways to show support, from sending postcards to the elderly to sewing masks and more.

Business Resources
Additionally, local businesses may want to tap into the state’s newly established Critical Industries Hotline for guidance about how to navigate the executive order. You can contact the hotline via 877-820-0890 or covidresponse@iedc.in.gov. Please note, it is for business and industry questions only.

Stay Connected with Daily Neighborhood Wave
A great way to connect and still have human contact (albeit at a distance!) is through the Neighborhood Wave, sponsored by Auburn Main Street and Downtown Auburn Business Association-DABA. Every evening at 7 p.m., go outside and wave to your neighbors. A wave, smile and encouraging words will go a long way in keeping us from feeling isolated and alone.

Unity During these Stressful Times
While these times are stressful in a variety of ways, they’ve also been encouraging. As I look at our state and country flags flying outside of City Hall, I am reminded that I have not seen or experienced such great unity in our country and our communities since 9/11. The display of flags reminds me of how, when we come together, we can persevere through anything. We encourage you to display your flag if you have one.

I pray you and your family remain safe and healthy during these times. Remember, we will get through this together.

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