City halls in the U.S. find ways to reopen.
After months of waiting for a steep drop in cases that never came, many local governments have started reopening their buildings. But the business of assessing properties, paying fines and running America’s cities looks little like it did before the pandemic.
In Aurora, Ill., City Hall was set to open just three days a week, with the first hour each day set aside for older residents. In Detroit’s partly reopened municipal center, appointments were recommended, employees were being tested for the virus and workers were no longer accepting cash payments. And in Dayton, Ohio, where City Hall had been closed since March 18, it was set to reopen this week with hand-sanitizing stations and security guards performing temperature checks.
Even with their front doors unlocked, cities were not exactly encouraging visitors. Officials in Buffalo, who also planned to reopen, said residents with a temperature over 100.4 degrees would not be allowed inside. Detroit officials planned to offer curbside service. Dayton’s news release announcing its reopening included an explicit suggestion to not come:
“The City of Dayton is encouraging customers to continue conducting business with the city remotely and electronically, as physical distancing standards are practiced at city facilities and many employees continue to work from home,” the statement said.
Delta, United and Southwest sign deal for Treasury loans.
All four of the large U.S. airlines have agreed to terms for loans from the federal government under the March stimulus bill, the Treasury Department said Tuesday.
Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines signed letters of intent under that law, known as the CARES Act, Treasury said. Last week, the department announced that American Airlines had agreed to a five-year $4.75 billion loan.
The terms of the loans announced Tuesday have not yet been disclosed, though Delta and United have said that they expect to receive loans nearly as large as American’s. Southwest has said it expects to receive a $1.1 billion loan. In a statement, Southwest said it has only agreed to terms for a loan but has not decided whether it will borrow the money, a decision it will make by Sept. 30.
The CARES Act set aside $25 billion in loans for passenger airlines. The Treasury Department earlier distributed another $25 billion to help the airlines pay workers through September.