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Ripon city workers coping with pandemic while serving citizens
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The lobbies of Ripon City Hall and Ripon Police Department have been closed since March 17.

The prior day, City Council met for an emergency session in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, voting to shutdown both lobbies to the public while allowing staff to meet with people via appointment only.

“(Staff) is still working to provide essential services to our community,” said City Administrator Kevin Werner on Wednesday. “At this point, all business functions related to these essential services are being conducted through e-mail or the city’s website (, zoom meetings and by phone.”

As for providing these “essential services,” he pointed out that there’s a significant emphasis placed on the safety of employees at the city facilities.

“We’ve added hand washing stations at entrances and exits along with hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes in common areas along with adhering to the social distancing requirements,” Werner said.

He added: “(We’re) requiring employees – if they were ill or in contact with anyone who has been ill – to go through a screening process before returning to work.”

There’s been no layoff of employees during these recent changes. Werner mentioned that one or two employees have to work from home.

“The biggest changes to day-to-day operations have been in the police and public works departments” he said.

Examples of that include each of those departments, according to Werner, using personal protective equipment in certain situations, and disinfecting vehicles and equipment prior to police or public works staff driving off.

The City has also adjusted lunch break procedures for employees in order to maintain social distancing, Werner said