As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues, leaders at both the national and state levels have been working feverishly to address the needs of its citizens and provide up-to-date information about the many areas of life that have been affected by the disease.
Though not as visible to some, local leaders have been working just as hard to do the same for their communities during this time of uncertainty. With this in mind, the Journal reached out to several leaders from different sectors of the community — government, education, public safety, business, health and news — to record a series of Messages for Turlock as the third week of California’s shelter-in-place order nears its end.
The first video of the series, published on Tuesday, features Turlock Mayor Amy Bublak speaking from City Hall where she urged people to work together to stay safe.
“This is a weird time for all of us. I never expected to be talking to any of you about COVID-19, nor did anyone else,” Bublak said. “I want you to know that Turlock is working very, very closely with every other city, every other mayor and the county, towards doing what we can to help this city be safe. As well, it’s your responsibility. We need you to look outside, think about what you’re going to be doing. If you’re going to be making contact with people, wear a mask.
“You’re okay to go out and walk around, just make sure that you’re social distancing, six feet minimum. Do what you can to make sure you’re safe and the people around you are safe,” she added.
Gary Carlson, Interim Fire Chief for the City of Turlock, also addressed the use of masks in his community message.
“This is an ongoing process and seems to change every day. As the numbers are expected to spike in our area as more testing becomes readily available, the important thing again is not to panic. The CDC is now recommending that all of us wear masks when we venture outside and I anticipate that local stores will start to make that mandatory before entering,” Carlson said.
The topic of education, a point of concern for parents throughout Turlock, was broached by Turlock Unified School District Superintendent Dana Trevethan.
“We care about kids, our families and our staff. We’re doing our absolute best right now to make sure that our students and families are fed through our meal program — breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday,” Trevethan said. We’re also working extensively to get technology into the homes of our students. Our goal is that by May 1 technology will be up and running in all of our homes in Turlock Unified so that students can engage in all aspects of learning.
“We want to see everyone back here in the fall, that’s our hope, and to do so we stand a greater chance if people are staying home, taking care of each other and being mindful of best practices related to hygiene and health,” she added.
Complete community messages from Bublak, Carlson and Trevethan, along with those of Turlock Chamber of Commerce President Sue Micheletti, Emanuel Medical Center infectious disease physician Dr. Jennifer Leoniak and Turlock Journal Editor Kristina Hacker, can be found at TurlockJournal.com.