City of Hillsboro Closures, Cancellations, and Updates: coronavirus/COVID-19
Story by by Oregon Herald staff
City of Hillsboro facility closures:
The health and well-being of our community members, employees, businesses, and partners are our top priority. To slow the spread of coronavirus and protect our community members' health, the City of Hillsboro is making thoughtful decisions to close these facilities beginning Sunday, March 15:
- Brookwood Library
- Shute Park Library
- Hillsboro Community Senior Center
- Shute Park Aquatic & Recreation Center (SHARC)
- The Walters Cultural Arts Center
- Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve Nature Center (outdoor trail will remain open)
- Outdoors In
These facilities will remain closed through Sunday, March 29. City staff will reevaluate the situation on Wednesday, March 25, and update the community on a timeline for reopening the facilities.
The Library will continue to accept books and materials in the book drops located outside both libraries and at the Civic Center Plaza. As a reminder, countywide online services will still be available, such as e-books and streaming video. In addition, loan periods (due dates) for library materials will be extended by 30 days.
Program and activity cancellations:
These City of Hillsboro programs and activities are canceled as of Saturday, March 14:
- All Library programs, classes, group activities, and public meetings — canceled until Sunday, April 12
- All Library meeting room and study room reservations — canceled until Sunday, April 12
- All Library events, including AARP Tax Help, Red Cross Blood Drive, the USCIS naturalization ceremony, and the Friends of the Library Book Sale — canceled until Sunday, April 12
- All Parks & Recreation programs, classes, concerts, leagues, facility rentals, events, and public meetings — canceled until Monday, March 30 (will be reevaluated by staff on Wednesday, March 25 and may be extended)
- Programs and events over 250 people are canceled for the next 30 days in accordance with the state mandate.
- If you or a family member are registered for a current paid Parks & Recreation program, a credit will be placed on your Parks & Recreation account for canceled classes.
Public meeting cancellations
- March 17: Free supervised play will not be offered during the City Council meeting; the Council meeting will take place with social distancing recommendations followed. Public comment can be submitted by email.
- March 18: Planning & Zoning Hearings Board Meeting
- March 19: Hillsboro Public Library Board Meeting
- March 24: Parks & Recreation Commission Meeting
Other event and program cancellations
- March 14: Murphy's Furniture St. Patrick's Day Parade
- March 14: Corned Beef & Cabbage at the Senior Center
- March 14: University of Oregon Spring Football Scrimmage
- March 17: Youth Invasion hosted by the City of Hillsboro
- March 17: Hillsboro Airport Community Advisors meeting
- March 17: Team USA Softball game at Ron Tonkin Field
- March 22: Portland Timbers 2 home opener at Hillsboro Stadium
- April 5: Portland Timbers 2 match at Hillsboro Stadium
- Home Water Audit on-site visits — POSTPONED
- All public events at Hillsboro fire stations, including station visits, ride-alongs, and presentations until April 12
Hillsboro Formally Declared a State of Emergency
City Manager Robby Hammond has formally declared a state of emergency for the City of Hillsboro as a precautionary measure to provide the City with increased flexibility in terms of resources, purchasing, and emergency response options for the coronavirus. The declaration enables the City and staff to be in the best position to serve the community where needed most. Other cities in the region are considering or planning to take similar action.
"To be clear, we are not declaring a public health emergency. That is not our role," Hammond said. "Rather, this action will allow us to buy the necessary equipment and supplies related to our response, if necessary, without being slowed down by certain processes. It will also allow us to adjust our staffing and City operations to best serve the community should that become necessary."
The City Council will vote to ratify this declaration at the upcoming City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 17.
Statement from the Hillsboro City Council delivered by Mayor Steve Callaway
"We want you to know that the health and well-being of our community members are our top priority. Right now, we need to care for each other and slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The coronavirus is not something to take lightly. We will listen to the health experts from the Oregon Health Authority, the Washington County Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a community, we need to respect their expertise and guidance.
Some of us are more vulnerable than others. We are particularly concerned for Hillsboro residents with existing health conditions and people experiencing homelessness.
We are also mindful that students, families, and seniors rely on meal assistance through the Hillsboro School District's free and reduced lunch program and through the Hillsboro Community Senior Center's food program.
While the City of Hillsboro does not provide public health services like Washington County or the State of Oregon, we do provide other critical services that residents rely upon. We understand our responsibility as public servants to ensure continued operations, but you may see further impacts on non-essential events.
We have canceled all events in the City of Hillsboro where more than 250 people are scheduled to gather, including our upcoming Youth Invasion event at the Hillsboro Civic Center. Beyond that, the City is assessing all operations and taking actions to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
City employees will continue to follow CDC recommendations, such as providing enhanced cleaning and sanitization of City facilities; providing hand sanitizer; and, limiting the sharing of objects, items, and toys. The City is also prepared to work with residents who may require flexibility with utility payments during this time.
We encourage you to follow the health experts' guidance. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing. Stay home when you are sick.
For those who are healthy, we want to remind you how important our local business community is, and we encourage you to continue to support them and their employees.
Let's remember what connects us all: a love of our community and a desire to serve each other. Thank you."
We are monitoring updates on local COVID-19 cases. A committee of City employees continues to review operational decisions and assess additional impacts on our community. The City of Hillsboro has acted on the following CDC recommendations:
- Signs have been posted in all City buildings encouraging patrons and staff to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Enhanced cleaning in high-traffic areas, such as public bathrooms, has increased in frequency.
- Libraries have removed small toys from public areas.
- Hand sanitizer is available in public areas.
- City employees are practicing social distancing.