More than two months after the City of Lathrop declared a local emergency and drastically cut down in-person accessibility to local government services the Lathrop City Hall complex is finally set to reopen.
On July 1, Lathrop City Hall will once again be open to residents who have to conduct business in person with the city – resulting in the opening of the lobby of the building for the first time since the COVID-19 restrictions went into place back in March.
While the announcement will once again make it possible for residents in the growing community to conduct business in person at the city’s official offices, the work has been continuing throughout the more than two-month shutdown – both in the offices themselves for some workers and from home for others.
Immediately upon the emergency actions by Governor Gavin Newsom to relax California’s stringent laws regarding public meetings, the City of Lathrop utilized technology to allow for residents to participate in those meetings even when the council members themselves were not in the same room. From questions and comments for the record that were emailed in advance to questions that were asked live during the meetings through a digital interface, the city has worked to ensure that the public’s business is still handled in a public forum and that the shutdown related to the virus did not grind the city’s operations – which are anchored by the monthly meetings of the city council – to a screeching halt.
While ancillary meetings that typically supplement the city council have been slowed down unless exigent circumstances exist, the Lathrop council has met through a mixture of in-person and digital attendance since the pandemic began.
Whether the reopening of City Hall will be the beginning of a wider trend towards reopening everything as normal remains to be seen after a sudden surge in the number of COVID-19 cases being diagnosed has alarmed health experts and created the possibility that healthcare services will become overwhelmed.
While Lathrop has decided to follow the lead of the State of California when it comes to reopening – declining to allow businesses open ahead of schedule – it has also taken steps to protect the public. While the city never formally closed parks to people who want to exercise in them or pass through them, they did take the steps of removing basketball hoops from poles to discouraged organized recreation and close contact amongst participants. Those hoops have still not yet been put back up, although play areas are once again open with the disclaimer that the city is not disinfecting them – or other publicly-used areas – multiple times throughout the day to prevent the contact spread of the virus.
In order to help streamline access to information related to the virus, the city has maintained a red banner across the top of its website that links to information pertaining to the COVID-19 situation and the relevant directives from both the State of California and the County of San Joaquin. For additional information, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at www.ci.lathrop.ca.us.
Lathrop City Hall is located at 390 Towne Centre Drive, and will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.