By Andrea Cordle
To contain the spread of the Coronavirus, or COVID – 19, Ohio Governor Mike Dewine has ordered schools to close and has put limits on social gatherings. The circumstances surrounding area governments and other local entities’ response to the Coronavirus pandemic is subject to change as the situation is ongoing. As of the Southwest Messenger’s deadline on March 17, this was the response from local entities:
South-Western City Schools District
The South-Western City Schools District closed all its schools on March 13. The district released a statement on March 13 saying all indoor extracurricular events and activities are postponed or cancelled through April 2.
According to a release by Superintendent Dr. Bill Wise, the district plan is as follows:
• The first several days of closure will be treated as calamity days.
• March 24 through April 3 will be considered school days with content being delivered and shared electronically. Many of the learning activities will require students to create documents to be submitted for teacher feedback. Some of this will be graded activity.
• April 6-10 will remain as the district’s regularly scheduled spring break.
• The district leadership intends to evaluate the implementation of the electronic teaching and learning efforts before committing to continue this practice. District leaders will share this information in early April. There is the potential to schedule make-up days for the end of the school year if continued closure is required.
“Please note that electronic teaching and learning does not mirror an in-school day and coursework may be adjusted to be better suited for at-home learning. Though students will not be constrained by traditional learning hours, they will be required to complete activities and assignments,” said the release by Wise.
The district is working on a plan to assist families that need technology support.
“This situation has left us in new territory,” said Wise in the statement. “It is important for you to know we are acting quickly as situations arise. Plans may be adjusted, and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding.”
For more information, visit www.swcsd.us.
City of Grove City
The city of Grove City has closed all parks and recreation programs, activities, reservations of rented facilities, the Welcome Center and Museum, Evans Center and senior programs including transportation service until further notice. This order went into effect at the end of the business day on March 13.
The city parks, walking and biking paths and playgrounds will remain open to the public. City leaders ask those using the parks to use good judgement and practice good hygiene and consider social distancing.
City council is scheduled to meet the first and third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at City Hall. Council members cancelled its March 16 meeting due to virus spread concerns. It is unclear at this time whether council will meet in April. According to city charter, council must meet once a month. Council meetings can be watched online live or afterwards at www.grovecityohio.gov.
Grove City officials will post timely updates on the website and on social media pages.
Southwest Public Libraries
Southwest Public Libraries will close both the Grove City Library and the Westland Area Library through at least April 6.
“We did not make this decision lightly,” said Mark Shaw, director of Southwest Public Libraries. “Taking early action is crucial to our community’s health.”
While the library is closed, patrons can access digital offerings through the library’s website. The book drops will be locked during the shut down period. The library asks patrons to hold on to all materials until the facility opens. Hold and due dates have been adjusted. There will be no fines and reserves will not be sent back.
“We thank patrons for their understanding as we work together through this unprecedented crisis and urge everyone to continue to follow good health and hygiene practices,” said Shaw.
For more information, visit www.swpl.org.
About the Coronavirus
The signs and symptoms of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, may appear two to 14 days after exposure and could include fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms and are in contact with healthcare, law enforcement or EMS professionals, please advise them before they approach or interact with you.
Prevention is key and includes: washing hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds; when soap and water handwashing is not available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol; avoid touching your eyes, nose mouth and face and avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing; stay home when sick; clean and sanitize surfaces frequently touched or handled and avoid attending large gatherings of people when able.
For more information, call the Ohio Department of Health 24/7 hotline at 1-833-427-5634.