Moscow council extends emergency order until May 5

Lambert

Gatherings of more than 10 people and dining in at bars and restaurants are no longer allowed in Moscow until May 5 in response to COVID-19.

Moscow Mayor Bill Lambert issued the seven-day emergency order Friday during an emergency Moscow City Council meeting and then the council extended the order to May 5.

The council is expected to discuss whether to extend the order again at its regular May 4 council meeting.

An addition to Moscow City Code allowing the mayor certain emergency powers for seven days was also approved. Once again, the council extended those powers to May 5.

Those powers allow Lambert to issue an advisory order, social distancing order, isolation order and/or quarantine order.

City Supervisor Gary Riedner said the only times the city issued emergency orders were in response to floods and other natural disasters.

“This is the first time in my memory that we’ve issued one pursuant to a pandemic or an infectious issue,” he said.

Curbside, pick-up, take-out, drive-through and delivery of food and/or drink service is permitted, according to the emergency order. Online and telephonic credit card transactions are strongly encouraged while cash payments are strongly discouraged.

Employees who handle cash or credit cards must use cleansing methods between each transaction.

Restaurants and dine-in service includes, but are not limited to, coffee shops, cafes, private dining clubs and cafeterias that give or offer for-sale food to the public, guests or employees.

The order does not apply to grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies, nor to emergency overnight or day shelters that provide food service to people experiencing homelessness.

Anyone who violates the order could be charged with a misdemeanor.

Riedner also noted City Hall is closed on Fridays because of the coronavirus. He asked residents to conduct city business by phone, email or other means that does not involve face-to-face interactions at city facilities.

“For all of our residents, please stay calm,” Lambert said. “Don’t panic.”

Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza@dnews.com.

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