The Morning Call
Easton Mayor Panto orders city buildings closed amid virus surge
The city of Easton has taken emergency action regarding its employees and buildings as coronavirus cases continue to climb in the Lehigh Valley.
Mayor Sal Panto Jr. issued an executive order Friday with several restrictions and guidelines.
They include closing City Hall at 123 S. Third St. and all other city-owned buildings to the public, effective Monday.
City Hall employees are being limited to their individual work stations and are refrained from visiting other areas, according to Panto’s order. Businesses must be conducted virtually or by telephone.
In addition, city employees, including police and firefighters, must wear masks and stay socially distant whenthey are not at their work locations.
The move is aimed at protecting city employees and their families from exposure to the virus, according to the executive order.
Panto also ordered any equipment or materials used by more than one employee, such as copiers, be disinfected following each use, as well as disinfecting common areas “on a regular basis.”
He said the order does not apply to city parks or outdoor activities.
Last week, Phillipsburg declared a state of emergency, with the move closing its town hall at 120 Filmore St, according to Mayor Todd M. Tersigni. The town also said the move was taken to ensure proper health and safety protocols are being followed by employees and residents, and that municipal services do not go interrupted.
The Lehigh Valley’s other cities, Allentown and Bethlehem, had not taken similar steps as of
“If and when a decision would be made to close city facilities, you can be sure that we will issue a news release,” Allentown spokesperson Mike Moore said.
Both Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez and Eric Evans, the city’s business administrator, said officials are monitoring the situation with the Bethlehem Health Bureau.
The state reported 6,808 more cases of the coronavirus Friday as the number of people hospitalized with the disease surges to its highest point ever, with 3,162 in the hospital.
The newly reported cases hiked the statewide total to 295,786, including 270 from Lehigh County and 161 from Northampton County.