By DAYTON CITY MANAGER THEO MELANCON
The City of Dayton is working with County and sister cities to enact rules which will help in the national effort to curb the rapid infection rate of COVID-19. I’ve been asked by many people why we are hastily ramping up our efforts locally. We’re doing it because of the fact that many of the early assumptions based on numbers provided by China showed a contagion factor much lower than the experience in Italy. As a recent podcast by The Daily entitled “It’s Like a War” highlighted, Italy is experiencing an infection rate and contagion factor (how contagious a disease is) much higher than expected. This has forced countries around the world to react to these developments.
I want to commend leaders at all levels of government for the rapid enactment of sweeping measures to stem the tide in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was modeling for a very different scenario when advising about the threat of COVID-19 when the contagion factor was assumed to be lower.
The City of Dayton has been diligent to remain within the CDC’s parameters of recommendation as we work together with our partners locally and around the nation on this threat of unknown magnitude.
Dayton has enacted measures that include prohibiting a gathering of more than 10 people. This does not include schools, institutions of higher education and businesses. We are working with businesses throughout Dayton to ensure best practices are in place as we monitor the situation. We are committed to the safety of all residents in Dayton.
I encourage all in Liberty County to work with local officials to comply with these regulations because we have so many at-risk people in our community. While some of the measures in place are inconvenient for the short term, we are trying to save lives and not inundate our hospitals with patients.
We are not defined by our circumstances, we are defined by how we respond to adversity. Tom Brokaw did not name the generation that went through the Great Depression and World War II “The Greatest Generation” because of the circumstance. “The Greatest Generation” was so named because people picked themselves up by their bootstraps, sacrificed for this nation to rebuild our national economy, end violence in Europe, Asia, and the Pacific; setting the stage for the 20th century to be called the American Century.
We can, and we will come out of this crisis a stronger community, city, state, and nation through enduring this adversity. The Dayton community has managed three federally declared disasters (Hurricane Harvey, Tropical Storm Imelda, and COVID-19) in less than three years. We have come out of the prior two stronger than before. We have gotten stronger because we have rallied together and focused on making sure we have a better emergency response each time. I am asking that our community come together again and help our neighbors in need.
The City of Dayton is maintaining a full workforce with all field operations remaining on projects throughout town. We continue to work on our capital improvement projects at Daniel Park. We will bring plans to pave many city streets this summer to the City Council. We are at work and the work of the city continues through all of this. On behalf of the City of Dayton staff, thank you for your support throughout these trying times.