The Ripon Common Council will consider an emergency declaration related to COVID-19 at Monday's Common Council meeting.

   According to an agenda just released by the city, "In the event that the COVID-19 pandemic begins to escalate even more, an emergency declaration allows the city to take actions that would normally otherwise require council approval. This allows city staff to respond quicker than would normally be possible."

   Specifically, the proclamation to be considered notes that "the City Administrator/Treasurer shall have operational authority with the assistance of the Police Chief to take any necessary precaution or action related to city operations for the welfare of the organization and the community for continuity of government." 

   As part of this decision, the city would close all rental facilities (such as park shelters), the Senior Center (which already has closed) and the library (which closed Wednesday).

  A multi-page city response plan also that follows includes a variety of steps that generally are currently required by state declaration, or that are generally encouraged by organizations such as the CDC. This includes proper hygiene as it relates to transmission of COVID-19, social distancing and more.

   It also outlines how city departments should limit face-to-face meetings, potentially modify work schedules to reduce overlap in staffing, and potential opportunities for working remotely.

   City employees also may be granted paid leaves of absence "when it is in the best interest of the city to do so," such as if someone is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

   City employees also are being asked to postpone or cancel any out-of-state travel, and those who do must self-report plans to do so. Anyone who travels to an area deemed to have sustained community spread of COVID-19 will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

   Final decision on this declaration and plan will be made at Monday's meeting.