South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

City of Pittsburgh moves to Level 2 emergency operations in response to COVID-19

 

March 17, 2020



The City of Pittsburgh is moving to further restrict face-to-face interactions between city personnel and residents, while preserving core city services in response to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All city employees who can telework will continue to do so throughout the pandemic, and others will be on-call for emergency operations.

Crews from the departments of Public Works, Mobility and Infrastructure and Permits, Licenses and Inspections will move to skeleton staffing while still responding to emergency situations. Parking enforcement is being suspended, and other city departments will be responding only to emergency matters as well.

Public Safety responses by police, fire, emergency medical services and animal care and control will continue.

"The City of Pittsburgh is committed to fully serving its residents throughout this outbreak, and is continuing to do so, while limiting close interactions to protect as many of our employees as possible," Mayor William Peduto said.

The Office of Management and Budget, Pittsburgh City Council, the City Controller will continue to sign and process all legislation and contracts. Communications with all federal, state and local agencies will continue to coordinate COVID-19 response, and outreach will continue to keep residents informed of all pandemic-related announcements and activities.

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority is suspending parking enforcement, and ending hand-to-hand cash transactions at garages. Parking garage attendants and security remain in place to promote safety.

The Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections (PLI) will continue construction site inspections and the issuance of life safety citations, as well as provide 24/7 response to all building-related emergencies. PLI will be cancelling routine property maintenance inspections, processing of all notices and citations, cashier functions, and Board of Appeals hearings.

The Department of City Planning will continue performing planning reviews remotely, but will cancel all board and commission hearings that cannot be held through teleconferences. March 19's Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing will be held as scheduled, but with restrictions in place to guard attendees.

The Department of Public Works will continue curbside garbage and recycling pickup, and emptying neighborhood business district and parks refuse containers. Response to weather emergencies and forestry needs will be performed on an as-needed basis and employees at Public Works Divisions will be staffing skeleton crews only. Drop-off sites at the East End, Hazelwood and West End divisions have closed, as have recycling drop-offs at Construction Junction in North Point Breeze. Recycling drop-offs are still available in the Strip District and Beltzhoover/Knoxville.

Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) crews will only respond to needed street sign replacements and traffic control repairs, and will continue life-safety inspections of traffic-related job sites. It will not be performing street line painting or general sign maintenance.

DOMI and DPW permitted job sites can continue work under the recommendation that they provide written assurances that they will:

• Modify work practices and worker territory to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between all staff

• Ensure that all work will be carried out outside in the open air

• Ensure workers have work gloves and will not share gloves or face guards

• Provide hand wash stations at job sites (in addition to portajohns)

• Provide hand sanitizer at job sites

• Regularly sanitize shared surfaces such as steering wheels, hand tools and other shared equipment

The Department of Finance is continuing to manage payroll, revenue and cash flow management, and bank transfers.

The Department of Human Resources and Civil Service is continuing oversight of payroll issues, processing paperwork for new employees, and onboarding incoming medics and Emergency Medical Technicians.

The Department of Parks and Recreation has closed Senior and Recreation centers but is planning to soon have limited hours at selected centers to serve as grab-and-go food distribution sites.

The Law Department is processing Right to Know requests and contracts, and providing legal support to all departments on COVID-19 issues.

The Department of Innovation & Performance is continuing network management, 24/7 call-out service for Public Safety needs, responding to City facilities that need technology repairs, and distributing critical hardware to needed employees to be telework-capable.

 

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