By Linda Dillman
Shutdowns due to concerns about the coronavirus continue to ripple across the nation and in Canal Winchester the situation is impacting the city council and community center as well.
While city offices remain open for business, council was not in regular session on March 16.
“The decision was made Thursday (March 12) afternoon after discussing with my staff, council president and vice president,” said Mayor Mike Ebert. “There was nothing pressing on the agenda that could not wait, so we decided to cancel both meetings of council on March 16. I have cancelled all senior activities at the community center through at least at least Friday, April 3, perhaps longer if necessary. The senior population is the most at risk for the virus so we want to do whatever we can to help them stay healthy.”
At this time, the status of council’s March 30 committee of the whole meeting has not been determined.
No city facility will be rented/used by outside groups during this same time period. Ebert said that street department and building crews will clean and sanitize each rental facility during the same time frame. He was also recently notified the Columbus Metropolitan Library closed their main and local branches until at least April 6.
“City offices will remain open and hopefully fully staffed,” said Ebert. “Street department, water and wastewater will remain open as well with normal operations. I have directed city employees to stay home if they are sick, don’t bring it to work. If they call in sick and see a doctor, the absence will not be counted against them as an incident.”
While Ebert said he has not received any directive from the governor’s office regarding closures in response to the health crisis as of March 11, he said Canal Winchester is following recommendations of the Franklin County Health Department.
Ebert urges residents to use common sense during this time.
“If you need to go to the store for food and supplies, then by all means go to the store,” said Ebert. “Don’t let this scare you, but do take precautionary measures whenever you are out and about. Wash hands often, use hand sanitizers and avoid large groups of people when possible. If you feel sick, see your doctor.”