Today we welcomed City Councilmembers Robert Clark (West Ward) and Jeff MacIntosh (Northwest Ward) to lead a conference call discussing the City of Winston-Salem’s response to COVID 19. They shared a wealth of information about what the City is doing to serve the needs of the community and local businesses.
Community Relief and Recovery Efforts
Mask the City: The City and community partners announced an effort to Mask the City, with the goal of distributing 300,000 facemasks to citizens primarily through local employers and nonprofit organizations. The masks are designed by Dr. William Satterwhite of Wake Forest Baptist Health and manufactured by Renfro Corporation.
Forsyth County COVID 19 Response Fund: The City of Winston-Salem contributed $1M from 2018 bond money to the local relief fund organized by the Winston-Salem Foundation and the United Way of Forsyth County. Total contributions to the fund total $3.2M, with $2.2M having already been allocated to local nonprofits. The City has organized a committee to review the allocation of its funding, and expects to announce those recipients next week.
Business and Economic Assistance
- All loan payments due to the City of Winston-Salem are suspended for six months and will not accrue interest during the deferral period.
- The City has organized a committee to form a reopening plan.
- The City is entering into the planning period for the fiscal year budget. The City Council is committed to not increasing taxes or fees in this year’s budget to help alleviate economic impact on citizens in the wake of the pandemic.
- Bus fares have been suspended. Acrylic shields have been installed around all drivers’ seats, and capacity limited to 15 riders at a time.
- The City has been working with local nonprofits to coordinate hotel rooms as needed for homeless individuals to shelter in place.
- Bulky item collection, yard waste, and brush and limb collections are temporarily halted for the purposes of both reducing potential transmission rates and to preserve city workforce capacity for essential services. These collections are expected to resume with safety measures in place soon.
Councilmembers Clark and MacIntosh continue to encourage citizens to support local businesses and practice social distancing. They recognize that while there is no road map to recovery, our community is resilient and collaborative, and the City is working to support citizens and businesses.