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As news of the first Ford County case of COVID-19 broke, many businesses and facilities began taking the step of closing in an effort to combat the spread of the virus.


Boot Hill Museum announced it will close effective immediately through the end of the month to be in compliance with all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.


"When things clear, we look forward to opening again and celebrating the summer season and new exhibits building that is scheduled to open soon," said Laura Tawater with Boot Hill Museum. "We will keep the public updated through our website and social media."


The city of Dodge City issued a news release of new closures and how daily operations will be changed for residents.


These changes will be updated as soon as possible as new information is provided.


The following city facilities will be closed to the public, but employees will still be working and available by phone for questions.


Dodge City Animal Shelter, 620-225-620-225-1567; City Hall/Municipal Court, 620-225-8100 and 620-225-8107; CREW Recycling, 620-225-8148 (drop-off only, elderly and disabled by appointment only).


Dodge City Convention & Visitors Bureau Center, 225-8186; Hennessy Hall, call the parks department at 620-225-8160; Mariah Hills Golf Course, 620-225-8182; Wright Park Zoo, call the parks department at 620-225-8160; Why Not Dodge Facilities including Dodge City Raceway Park and Athletic Complex Facilities, call City Hall at 620-225-8100; Utility Billing, 620-225-8111.


For businesses at the Santa Fe Depot, contact the CVB at 620-225-8186; Dodge City Area Chamber of Commerce Office, 620-227-3119 and economic development at 620-227-9501.


Contact the Public Transit offices at 877-323-3626 or 620-225-8119 as buses will not be running.


"No city parks are being closed at this time," city officials said. "Though following Gov. (Laura) Kelly’s executive order, there shall be no gatherings over 50 people, this may be re-evaluated if additional positive COVID-19 cases are reported in Ford County, however."


Additionally, the Hoover Pavilion and Mariah Hills Golf Course Meeting Room will be unavailable for rental until further notice and full refunds will be offered to any party with a canceled reservation.


“These closures are to protect the most vulnerable members of our community and preserve access to key backup facilities in the case of an emergency shelter need,” said city manager Cherise Tieben. “We are sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause and hope these closures are temporary.


“An overabundance of caution is vital at this point. We would rather do too much and in the end not know if it was necessary, rather than do too little, and the effects be abundantly apparent.”


More specific information will be released at a later time, but as of now, all non-essential city board meetings will be canceled or rescheduled.


Events at athletic facility complexes have been postponed with potential for cancellation as well as at Dodge City Raceway Park.


For utility bill payment, the city encourages customers to pay bills online or through its dropbox location on the north side of City Hall.


Payments can also be made over the phone or by mail.


To pay online, visit www.dodgecity.org/678/Pay and select the online payment category that you will need, and follow the instructions to set up payments.


For more information on utility payments call 620-225-8111.


At this time, the municipal judge is preparing guidelines and directives regarding municipal court cases for pending appearance dates, trials, and probation check-ins.


"These guidelines and directives will severely limit any personal contacts with the court and court personnel while also protecting the rights of all citizens to have their matters fully and fairly considered and resolved," city officials said.


For more information for municipal court staff, call 620-225-8107.


For additional questions or concerns about any further closures or changes, call City Hall at 620-225-8100.


The Kansas Lottery also issued a statement on the closing of all state-operated casinos, including Boot Hill Casino and Resort.


The casino in Dodge City will close at the end of the business day on Tuesday and be shut down through March 30.


United Wireless Arena also shut down its building to the public and announced postponements for upcoming shows.


As previously reported, the Jeff Dunham show was rescheduled to Thursday, June 11. Everclear has been rescheduled to Saturday, Aug. 29.


As for the Fairy Tales on Ice and bridal and women's day out events, those have been postponed with no rescheduled date at this time.


All purchased tickets will still be honored and refunds will be made available for these shows.


Contact Ticketmaster at 800-653-8000 for more information or refunds.


For area schools possibly extending spring break, the Dodge City Community College will be making an announcement on changes Wednesday morning.


"Dodge College Community College officials have been in a robust monitoring mode related to COVID-19 conditions in Ford County and surrounding areas," said DCCC vice president of student affairs and risk management Beverly Temaat. "Our guiding focus is the wellness and safety of students, employees and community members.


"The campus-wide COVID-19 Preparedness Team met for an extended time yesterday afternoon to finalize timelines and schedules. We will release our plans (as previously announced) for instructional delivery transitions, residence hall services, food services and other operations, Wednesday morning.


"All students, employees, parents and community members should watch for announcements."


DCCC president Harold Nolte added, "We wish to extend our sincere concerns for the individual with the confirmed COVID-19 case and the family members. Certainly, we all hope for a quick recovery."


The American Legion in Dodge City also said all events scheduled for the post have been canceled until further notice.


Additional closures and information from Dodge City USD 443 are still pending. Updates will be made available as they are announced.


To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.