EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-03
WHEREAS, the City of Hammond, along with the State of Indiana, the United States, and the world are preparing for the spread of COVID-19 commonly known as the Corona Virus. It is imperative that as a city we take all necessary precautionary measures to protect those most vulnerable to the virus while still using common sense to make sure everyday lives are impacted as little as required; and
WHEREAS, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a statement that community-based interventions such as school dismissals, event cancellations, social distancing, and creating employee plans to work remotely can help slow the spread of COVID-19. The CDC further recommends that individuals can practice everyday prevention measures like frequent hand washing, staying home when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes; and
WHEREAS, as Mayor, I strongly recommend that our residents take these precautions seriously and implement them as part of their daily lives. These preventative measures are ways each person can play their part preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Hammond and throughout Northwest Indiana; and
WHEREAS, we have witnessed cities and organizations around the country cancel events and implement strong measures to lessen the potential impact of COVID-19. Just this week, I sent several members of my administration to the Indiana District 1 COVID-19 Summit held at Valparaiso University. I felt that having a significant presence at this Summit was essential so that I can remain up to date with the latest information and measures that are appropriate on what is now a global pandemic.
NOW THEREFORE, as Mayor of the City of Hammond, I hereby issue the following Executive Order related to the COVID-19 outbreak:
- The City of Hammond, in keeping with the directive from the State of Indiana, will not participate in or host mass gatherings or large community events larger than two hundred fifty (250) people until further notice. Organizations are strongly discouraged from hosting such events until the threat of COVID-19 has passed.
- I am naming my Chief of Staff Phil Taillon as head of the newly organized Hammond COVID-19 Task Force and am naming the following leaders as members of this task force: Assistant Chief of Police Andy Short, Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Margraf, Director of Community Development Owana Miller, Information Technology Director Chris Campbell, Assistant Director of Hammond Waterworks Mark McLaughlin, Hammond Sanitary District Deputy District Manager Matt Muta, Hammond Department of Environmental Management Director Ron Novak, City Council President Dave Woerpel, City Engineer Dean Button, Personnel Director Sharon Daniels, Hammond Housing Director Carmen Paniagua, Parks and Recreation Administrator Mark Heintz, Hammond Port Authority Director Milan Kruszynski, Public Works Assistant Director Johnny Perez, Code Enforcement Commissioner Jaime Prieto, and Communications Director Sharon Szany. I am ordering the task force to immediately begin to create a community emergency operations plan that will address preparedness and an implementation strategy if COVID-19 spreads to our community.
- All Hammond event venues that are hosting events where over two hundred fifty (250) people will be in attendance will be closed until further notice. This will directly impact the Hammond Sportsplex and may impact other such venues such as the Jean Shepard Center, the Hammond Civic Center, Lost Marsh Golf Course, Wolf Lake Pavilion, and the Pulaski Park Senior Center. The City will keep the public updated on closures of public facilities. City Hall will remain open as will all City departments and services.
As your Mayor, I want to assure the citizens of the City of Hammond that your government is taking all possible measures to prepare itself and to protect public health from the COVID-19 outbreak.
This Order is in effect immediately upon my signature and shall remain in effect until further notice.
Thomas M. McDermott, Jr., Mayor