NEWMAN - The city of Newman on Tuesday announced a declaration of a local emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city has closed all municipal facilities to the public (other than by pre-arranged appointment on a limited basis), suspended all recreational activities and canceled all building and park rentals. That action was effective at the close of the business day Tuesday.

The public may continue to access facilities on a limited basis by contacting the city through phone numbers on a notice on the city website.

Payment of utility bills may be conducted by phone, use of a City Hall drop box or on line, officials said.

City Manager Michael Holland said that city employees will remain on the job and that all essential government functions and services - such as trash collection - will continue. City departments  can be reached by phone as needed.

According to a news release, the proclamation of a local emergency which Holland issued Tuesday in his role as the city’s director of emergency services will allow additional resources to flow into the city to assist with efforts already under way to curb the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of Newman residents.

The City Council will hold a special meeting today (Thursday) at 4 p.m. That meeting will not be physically open to the public. The public may participate in the meeting via tele-conference by calling 267-930-4000, Passcode 909-880-790.