FILE — Yakima Mayor Patricia Byers speaks during a special meeting about COVID-19 on Thursday, March 12, 2020, at Yakima City Hall in Yakima, Wash.

In a message broadcast Friday, Yakima Mayor Patricia Byers encouraged city residents to continue practicing good hygiene and consideration in the face of coronavirus concerns.

She also assured residents that the city of Yakima is doing everything it can to help slow the spread while also providing residents with essential city services. Police and fire department staff are still responding to incidents as normal, she said.

The city has closed all city facilities and canceled all city-sponsored events as a precaution. Staff are practicing social distancing as recommended, Byers said.

Byers encouraged residents to submit nonemergency police reports, utility payments, and other requests online to help minimize exposure.

The city’s website has guidelines and instructions available at www.yakimawa.gov.

Byers said city staff are receiving information regularly from the Yakima Health District and also are working with other agencies, including the Yakima County Office of Emergency Management.

She encouraged residents to read news only from reputable sources and to not spread rumors. She asked that residents stop hoarding, as “doing so may affect the ability of others to access food and supplies.”

She also encouraged people to practice recommended hygiene.

“It is the responsibility of each of us during this emergency to do our part and follow the guidance of health officials,” she said. “We are a community of character, compassion and faith. Let us continue in that vein.”

The message is available at the City of Yakima YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00SZGMiLtEI and also on-demand on the Y-PAC website.

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Reach Lex Talamo at ltalamo@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: @LexTalamo.