Editor’s note: A special Apalachicola City Commission meeting on the coronavirus has been slated for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17. It will likely by livestreamed; The Apalachicola Times Facebook page will advise of who is livestreaming it.

The following is a message from Apalachicola Mayor Kevin Begos, issued Monday afternoon.

While there are no confirmed coronavirus cases in Apalachicola yet, medical experts say that will likely change.

So being careful now can reduce the long-term risk for both locals and visitors.

If you’re a tourist, welcome. We want you to have a great time, and thank you for visiting.

But we also need to do everything possible to limit the spread of Coronavirus. That’s why we’re listening to advice from the Centers for Disease Control and our governor.

From Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 29, our city library will close and we will stop allowing private gatherings at public buildings.

City Hall will remain open but we urge citizens to conduct business by phone or email if possible.

If you or someone you know has symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please call a healthcare provider or visit the local health department. Ours is on 12th Street, next to Weems Hospital.

Coronavirus can be mild for many people, but older adults and those with underlying medical conditions are at serious risk.

The virus is invisible and silent. That means that one person could infect two or three others in a large crowd without anyone knowing it, each of those could do the same, and so on.

This notice does not apply to private businesses, but we urge everyone to follow prevention guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, and the President, which suggest no public gatherings of more than 10 people.

Wash your hands. Avoid large crowds. Pay extra attention to your own health and the needs of family and friends.

Thank you in advance for your help in preventing the spread of this virus. - Kevin Begos