By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — The COVID-19 pandemic has struck more than 100 countries across the globe, and its effects have been felt in Newkirk, as the Kay County Courthouse, along with the city of Newkirk, have been put on lockdown to protect city and county employees as well as the general public. All city functions are still being performed, including the fire and police department, and the city has released a set of guidelines to help citizens and the city cope during the outbreak.
The Newkirk Public Library is closed to the public through April 30, however, Tuesday and Friday, librarians will be available for book check out or check in. Cardholders must meet at the side door to make requests. The public may not enter the facility.
“They have to call in advance and ask what they want, and pass it out the back door. We cannot let them in, and they cannot do copies or faxes,” Librarian Marcina Overman said.
Cardholders can call (580) 362-3934 to make requests.
The Senior Center also is closed through April 30, but Center Director Serena Welch is still keeping in touch with citizens. They may call the Senior Center at (580) 362-1409 and leave a message, or contact Welch directly at (405) 213-5360.
The police and fire department are on lockdown, and only on-duty staff will be in the facilities. The city asks that the public only call the dispatcher for emergencies. Emergency personnel will still be visible in the community, but will wear gloves and face masks when meeting with the public.
Residents are asked not to flush anything down the toilet other than toilet paper, as it can plug the homeowners’ line, as well as cause problems further down the line. All trash must be bagged in in a 35-gallon trashcan; no loose trash may be left on the ground around the trash cans. Animals must also be in a secured yard.
Residents are asked to use caution and look after the elderly and other family members.
“Keep washing your hands, stay home and spend time together, and take time to look on your elders,” said City Manager Jane Thomas.
City Hall can be contacted at (580) 362-2117.