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We need to better ourselves now

We need our better selves now as we deal with the COVID-19 virus. The response from our community has been overwhelmingly supportive of the efforts to fight this disease and protect our families, friends, co-workers and neighbors. I am not surprised that we are rising to this challenge as this community has always shown our strength when challenges arose. I am deeply appreciative of these efforts in this situation.

The threat from this disease is real. The threat is also greatest to older members of our community but can literally be a matter of life or death for anyone. We cannot take the threat lightly and we need to have our medical professionals guide our responses and actions.

I am writing this column a week before it will be published in this newspaper. The past few weeks have shown how the situation can change quickly. I believe the one fact that will not change over the next week is that we must follow the direction of the medical professionals to determine the solutions that are needed. Gov. Steve Sisolak has done an outstanding job of keeping all Nevadans informed and making the very difficult decisions that are necessary.

The necessary actions have sadly resulted in hardships for many people. Some businesses are closed and a large number of people have lost jobs. There are resources available now and more resources are being made available to help us through these difficult times.

I want everyone to know that assistance for many basic needs is available if needed by our residents. I encourage everyone to check the city website for daily updates of information. The website is www.bcnv.org. You may also call 702-293-9329. There is a link on the main page to resources that are needed in response to this pandemic.

City Manager Al Noyola and our city staff have been implementing plans over the past few weeks to prepare for the emergency. Fortunately, we have not seen a large number of people in Boulder City with the disease as I write this. The purpose of closing nonessential businesses and facilities is to limit the exposure each of us may have to a person who may have the infection and places where the virus may exist. These same reasons are the basis for asking everyone to maintain social distancing of 6 feet when others are present.

The city emergency response is being coordinated by Fire Chief Will Gray. These plans include coordinating supplies and procedures with our local hospital and local nonprofits. Community Development Director Michael Mays is coordinating volunteer and donation offers. You may email him at mmays@bcnv.org if you have time or items to donate.

Emergency Aid of Boulder City, the Senior Center of Boulder City and Lend A Hand are all stepping up their already great efforts to provide meals and other necessities. If you can help their efforts with monetary donations or supplies, please contact the organization directly. These organizations have provided valuable support for our community and can use our support as well.

The Clark County School District is providing meals for students at Mitchell Elementary School Monday through Friday mornings. Academic resources are also available. More information is available at http://newsroom.ccsd.net/food-distribution-information.

Our congressional representatives are working to provide support to those who have been laid off and businesses that have been impacted. Sens. Jackie Rosen and Catherine Cortez-Masto, as well as Rep. Susie Lee, have all been personally providing information updates and inquiring about the needs of our community.

Congress, at this time, is working on legislation to provide support and benefits under these emergency circumstances. Information is not available as I write this for the most recent benefits but there is an effort to provide unemployment insurance payments to those who may not have been eligible previously. Gov. Sisolak has opened the enrollment period for health insurance. If you are in need of benefits, information is available at www.nevadahealthlink.com.

I again want to say how much I appreciate the efforts of so many of our residents and business owners to face the difficulties and stress this pandemic has foisted on us.

Please stay home for Nevada and stay healthy.

Kiernan McManus is mayor of Boulder City. He is a native of Boulder City first elected to City Council in 2017.

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