COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

CITY FACILITY CLOSURES AND REOPENINGS


The City of Johnston is working hard to plan for the reopening of city facilities and rental facilities while adhering to public health guidance, including physical distancing and the use of face coverings when in public. Please note, dates are tentative and subject to change.
  
Phased opening of parks and recreation facilities and amenities
• Public park playgrounds and restrooms – Now open
• Ball fields (open to socially distanced practices) – Now open
• Rental facilities (Crown Point Community Center and Simpson Barn) – Monday, June 22

City facilities
While public buildings are tentatively scheduled to re-open for public access in June, visitors are encouraged to use a face mask, sanitize hands when entering and exiting the buildings, or touching surfaces, avoid physical contact, including handshaking, practice social distancing and do not come in if you have a cough or fever.
• City Hall – Monday, June 22
• Public Works – Monday, June 22
• Library – Beginning Tuesday, June 2, patrons can pick-up curbside holds and printing (up to 20 sheets). A date is yet to be determined when the library will reopen for public access.
• Fire Stations remain closed to the public until further notice.
• Public Safety Building lobby remains open for business.
• Public meetings – City Council, Board and Commission Meetings will continue to be held via electronically until Monday, July 6. More information about the meetings can be found by visiting www.cityofjohnston.com.


PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES


All City office buildings remain closed to public access, including City Hall, Johnston Public Library, Crown Point Community Center, Public Works and Fire Stations. Residents and contractors are encouraged to call or email City staff to conduct business. Should residents need to make a payment, a drop box is located inside the lobby at City Hall. Still, this area is not staffed, and access to City Hall remains closed. 

Please consider calling 515-278-2344 or emailing City employees. Visit www.cityofjohnston.com/directory.aspx for contact information.  

UTILITY BILLING


Payments can be made by:
  • Dropping off payment in the drop box just inside the main doors of City Hall. While we will accept cash payments, we will not be able to give change due to the closure. 
  • Online
  • Automatic Withdrawal
  • Phone by calling 833-259-4019
LIBRARY
The library is closed to public access through Thursday, April 30. Visit www.johnstonlibrary.com for online programs and services. 

PERMITS AND INSPECTIONS


Electronic permits being accepted
  • Building permits
  • Trade permits
  • Rental housing registrations
Permit forms are available at www.cityofjohnston.com/105/Permits, and can be emailed to buildingdepartment@cityofjohnston.com. Building inspections are continuing as normal and can be scheduled by calling 515-727-7778.

Inspecting
Temporary suspension of rental housing inspections but will continue to register/renew rental housing registrations. Visit www.cityofjohnston.com/528/Rental-Inspections for more information.

PARKS & RECREATION


Questions, please call 515-727-8091
  • Parks and trails remain open for use, but residents and visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing. Social distancing is not gathering is groups of more than 10 people and staying six-feet apart. 
  • All City public playground equipment is closed until further notice.
  • All Parks & Recreation facility rentals, including Crown Point Community Center, Simpson Barn and Park shelters are canceled through April 30.
  • The loading assistance of wood chips at Terra Park has been suspended until further notice.
  • The seasonal opening of public restrooms in parks will be delayed.

POLICE


We remain open, but this is subject to change on short notice if circumstances dictate. Residents are encouraged to call 515-278-2345 or email police@cityofjohnston.com before visiting the station. 

Temporary suspension of programs until further notice.
  • Fingerprinting
  • Car seat installations
  • Community educational programming
  • Solicitor permits

FIRE


Calls for service continue, including house calls; however, response modifications have changed to minimize exposure to personnel. 
  • The engine and trucks will stage away from medical calls but will be close if needed. Only two ambulance personnel will go into the residence or apartment, and one will stand at the doorway to minimize possible exposure.
  • Personnel will wear masks on all calls.
  • Upon arrival at the scene, personnel will ask questions initially from a distance.
  • If patients exhibit symptoms or meet specific criteria, they will be asked to put on a surgical mask to prevent transmissions.
Temporary suspension of programs until further notice.
  • Station tours
  • Public speaking engagements
  • Ride-a longs
  • Educational programming events
  • Installation and checking smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on medical runs until recommendations from the Iowa Public Health Department. 
  • Calls to change batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke alarms. 
  • Should a resident have an alarm that doesn't turn off, we will attempt to troubleshoot the issue over the phone. If this cannot be done, we will assess the situation and send out a crew with protective equipment to address the situation. This will be dependent upon crew availability. 

PUBLIC WORKS

Questions, please call 515-278-0822. During this time, Johnston Public Works will be deploying staff and resources to focus first on the continuation of the essential services we provide to our community and customers. Non-urgent response/services will follow as staffing and efforts to minimize exposure allow.

Permits
Encourage to be submitted electronically by emailing, Lori Mason
Should you need to drop of a permit, license or other information to the Public Works Department during regular business hours (7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.), we encourage you to utilize the drop box, located just inside the facility at 6400 NW Beaver Drive, or the drop box located at City Hall.  

Water Division
Water meter and meter transmitting unit replacements have been temporarily suspended. Estimates will be provided until further notice. 

EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION


On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Mayor Paula Dierenfeld declared a state of emergency proclamation. View the press release and proclamation here (PDF)

PUBLIC MEETINGS


The public meetings will take place online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit agendas and minutes for more information.
SENIOR LUNCH SITE AND ACTIVITIES AT CROWN POINT COMMUNITY CENTER
The Polk County Senior lunch site and senior activities at the Crown Point Community Center in Johnston remain closed. Johnston Seniors are welcome to order a to-go lunch from the Grimes Community Center, located at 410 SE Main Street in Grimes. Lunch is available for PICK-UP ONLY at the Grimes Community Center from 11:00 a.m. to Noon. Reservations are required by 1:00 p.m. one-day in advance for the next day’s meal. Residents are urged to please call 515-986-5747 to reserve a lunch, which can be picked up at the North Entrance to the building.

JOHNSTON PARNTERSHIP


The Johnston Food Pantry will be distributing food from the parking lot. Admission to the stores will be restricted, but staff will take orders, prepare the food packages and bring them outside for customers. The hours of operation may vary. Customers may also call ahead at 515-868-1357 to place their orders.

As always, it is import to practice healthy habits

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, or as long as it takes you to sing Happy Birthday or the ABCs twice
  • When unable to wash your hands, use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others

SOCIAL DISTANCING 101

  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Stay home and do not go out in public when you are sick
  • Avoid medical settings unless necessary
  • Give six-feet of space from others
  • Avoid shaking someone’s hand
  • Practice excellent personal hygiene habits
  • Work in ways that minimize close contact with people
  • Encourage telecommuting

The Iowa Department of Public Health is updating the number of Iowans being monitored and tested for COVID-19 each day, Monday through Friday. Visit their website for COVID-19 numbers: idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus.