It’s an unprecedented time in the city of Inverness regarding COVID-19, and I am proud to report on the actions the city has taken in recent weeks. The city continues to monitor the situation very closely and maintains a daily briefing that goes out to our community partners and the public on our website and Facebook page @InvernessFloridaGov.
In coordination with the city of Crystal River and Citrus County, the city declared a local state of emergency in regard to COVID-19 on March 16. City services have continued without interruption to include sanitation, water and sewer, public works projects, building permits, public safety and city administration. Many precautions have been put in place to reduce the spread of the virus from thorough cleanings and sanitizing of our facilities.
The city’s website, Inverness-FL.gov, is rich in City COVID-19 updates. For residents without access to the internet, there is an information line available for folks to call 24/7, 352-341-7830. This line is updated to keep our residents informed during this time of change and challenges. The city put together an Inverness Dining List to encourage our residents to utilize takeout and delivery options with our local restaurants.
We decided it was best to postpone the Inverness Big Bass Classic and the Taste of Inverness and look forward to hosting these events later in the year. The city’s Valerie Theatre has canceled all events for the time being and looks to reschedule these events. The new Inverness Farmers Market and Depot activities have been paused until further notice, and we are looking forward to bringing back these community events at the right time, so stay tuned. In keeping with the need for increased social distancing, the city has closed its parks, Visitor Center and Valerie Theatre until further notice. Each of these actions were carried out after careful consideration and with communication with our community partners and local government leaders.
Today, approximately two weeks since our community went under a local state of emergency, many things are still to be determined. We continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health. In my 16 years as mayor of the city of Inverness, I have never seen challenges like this before, but have faith that our community will rally to meet these challenges. Every day I see new ways that people are finding to help one another. In the not-so-distant future, we look forward to our families and friends gathering in our parks, the wide-open doors of our churches welcoming parishioners back, and our businesses getting back to work. To be sure, we will see those brighter days coming soon.
Bob Plaisted is the mayor of Inverness.