A Community comes together to fight a virus – here’s what we’re doing at the Downtown Reno Partnership

COVID-19 has changed the world. In just a few weeks, it turned the economy upside-down, and has changed our day-to-day lives. Panic purchasing, hoarding toilet paper and water and self-isolation demonstrate the uncertainty we face. 

While we are trying to prepare for the weeks ahead, some of the issues we have been dealing with before the virus have not gone away. We need to remember that our vulnerable population are still struggling the same way as they did before the virus, and now more and more businesses, especially smaller ones, are struggling to survive as well.  

In this climate, the Reno community has pulled together and become stronger. The City and many leaders in the community already started to take action and so did the Downtown Reno Partnership:

  • The DRP team is currently assessing what the Marketing and Economic Development programs should focus on to be most helpful in the changed environment. The DRP is gathering information about take-out options in the downtown area and will soon publish a guide to downtown take-out dining and curbside retail. If you have takeout/curbside services in downtown please let us know so we can include you!
  • The Ambassadors are now carrying disinfectants to wipe down areas everyone touches, such as doorknobs, trash can handles, traffic light buttons, etc. The Ambassadors will continue their outreach to the vulnerable community, but they are learning to express their compassion through other ways; avoiding hugs and handshakes. And they are teaching these precautions to others, especially to those whose immune systems are highly compromised already.
  • Another urgent matter that occurred with the closure of so many downtown businesses is the need for bathrooms for those who no longer have access to a toilet. The DRP is working with the City of Reno to establish one or two temporary port-a-potties, attended by Ambassadors during the day and evening hours.

The virus is a new challenge, which requires us to be ready to change direction every day depending on the developments nobody can predict. Our community and the DRP are prepared to take this challenge. Together we will prevail and at least slow down the infection rate to make it manageable to health care providers and hospitals. 

I’d also like to ask all of us to look after our neighbors, friends and family members we know or suspect need help. And please keep checking our COVID-19 resources guide for frequent updates and resources for residents and businesses. 

This article originally appeared online in the Reno Gazette Journal and in the March 22, 2020 print edition.

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