News Flash

COVID-19 Resources

Posted on: March 24, 2020

Archive of Updates

UPDATE: March 26, 2020, 5:00 P.M.

The Mayor and City officials continue to follow the COVID-19 situation closely.  As of today, March 26, 2020, cases in Ohio have reached 867, with 15 deaths.  Ohio’s Stay at Home Order remains in effect.  As in all communities throughout the country, we must all continue to do everything we can to minimize the spread of the virus.  Below are a few things to keep in mind.

TRUSTED SOURCES OF COVID-19 INFORMATION

Protect yourself from COVID-19 scams or schemes by looking to trusted sources for information.  The COVID-19 Resources page on our website (canalwinchesterohio.gov//473/Canal-Winchester-COVID-19-Resources) includes links to many trusted state and federal organizations and programs.  We continue to recommend visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov for complete and accurate information about Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

KEEP IN MIND

  • To file an unemployment claim, visit unemployment.ohio.gov.  Note: Ohio is working to make upgrades to the site to allow for increased online traffic.
  • To find ODJFS-approved Temporary Pandemic Child Care programs in Franklin and the surrounding counties, visit actionforchildren.org.
  • Ohioans who have not yet voted in the 2020 Primary election are encouraged to go to voteohio.gov to request an absentee ballot to vote by April 28.  The website offers answers to frequently asked questions, and links to other primary election information.
  • The Governor is expected to sign the legislation tomorrow, extending the Ohio income tax deadline and RITA tax deadline to July 15.  Look for more details in the coming days.

NEWEST LOCAL CANCELLATIONS

Our annual Tree Giveaway, scheduled for May 2, has been canceled.

ANXIETY RESOURCES

This is an unprecedented time, with many unexpected changes happening very quickly.  Feeling anxiety is understandable.  If you’re experiencing anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are resources available.

  • Text the keyword “4HOPE” to 741 741.   
  • Contact The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services help line 1-877-275-6364 to find local resources
  • Call the Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 (1-800-846-8517 TTY)

INTERESTED IN PROVIDING HELP?

Many Ohioans are interested in helping during this time.  If you are interested in providing help, please email together@governor.ohio.gov with the following:

  • Your Name
  • Contact Information
  • How You are Interested in Helping

Remember – we will get through this together.  Please stay aware, stay calm, and stay tuned. 

UPDATE: March 20, 2020, 5:00 P.M. 
Today, March 20, 2020, marks just over one week since we sent the first of many notifications to residents regarding our COVID-19 response. Although much has changed in that time, our commitment to the safety and health of our residents remains our primary goal.  Limiting the impact and minimizing the spread of the virus is important, and we thank you for doing your part to help.  Staying at home as much as possible is recommended, and travel is discouraged, if at all possible. Ohio’s reported cases of COVID-19 jumped to 169 today, and the first Ohio death attributable to the virus was reported.  The crisis continues to develop, and we continue to monitor the situation.

We stand by our commitment to share important news with you.  For complete and accurate details about Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we recommend visiting https://coronavirus.ohio.gov. The site not only provides links to the Governor’s orders, but also provides families with ideas and helpful resources during this difficult time.

When you do leave home to shop for groceries and other supplies, please show patience and kindness to one another.  Please remember we are in this together.  Please fly your flag.  And please stay aware, stay calm, and stay tuned.

UPDATE: March 19, 2020, 5:00 P.M.

The number of cases of COVID-19 in Ohio continue to grow.  As of March 19, Ohio cases have reached 119.  We urge our residents to continue to heed the call to practice social/physical distancing, and we applaud the resolve of our community during this difficult time.

CW UTILITY PAYMENTS

If you are a CW Water customer, you likely received a notice today regarding some changes to your options for making utility payments.  With our Municipal building closed to the public, please pay online, by mail or by using the 24-hour drop box in the entry of the Municipal building.  View the notice - https://www.canalwinchesterohio.gov/AlertCenter.aspx?AID=203.

QUICK- LINKS TO RESOURCES

Some of our local businesses are offering specials and discounts, or are leading philanthropic efforts right now.  Indeed, so are many individuals and charity groups.  We’re encouraged by the numerous stories of goodwill that we’ve heard.

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, and we understand that many of the changes to our daily lives have been swift and even difficult sometimes. You may even be feeling overwhelmed – but we want you to know that the health and safety of our residents is our primary concern.  We will keep in touch with you, and will make our messages as brief, yet comprehensive, as possible.  We will get through this together.  Please stay aware, stay calm, and stay tuned.

UPDATE: March 18, 2020, 5:00 P.M.
Drastic and sweeping actions continue to be taken throughout the country to limit exposure to COVID-19.  The Mayor and City officials are keeping informed and making decisions about our operations, access to public buildings, and limiting public gatherings.  Cases in Ohio have reached 88 as of today, March 18, 2020.  Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has asked all Ohio businesses to check employee temperatures before they work and to send employees home if they are sick.  We must all do everything we can to minimize the spread of the virus.

STATEWIDE CLOSURES

  • Spas, tattoo parlors, salons and similar personal service businesses have been ordered to close.
  • BMV offices throughout the state are ordered to close.  Five (5) BMV offices, deemed essential for CDL issuance and renewals, will remain open.  Citizens will not be penalized for any late renewals, etc. that occur as a result of this closure.

NEW LOCAL CANCELLATIONS

The list of cancellations and closures grows as the situation changes.  Please check our website if you have questions. Below are the newest cancellations to report as of March 18, 2020:

OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

  • Many grocery stores have now limited their hours of operation, are stocking their shelves, and have needed to limit purchases of some items. Please consider one another when you shop. 
  • Criminals seem to multiply in times of crisis.  Be mindful of what you click on online and beware of unsolicited texts or phishing emails you may receive.  They may not be legitimate, and may include malware.

Remember – we will get through this together.  Please stay aware, stay calm, and stay tuned.

UPDATE: March 17, 2020, 5:00 P.M.
The Mayor and city officials continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation very closely.  In Ohio, reported cases have reached 67 as of today, March 17, 2020.  Actions throughout the country to minimize the spread of the virus have been robust and comprehensive, including here in Canal Winchester. Below are a few reminders for our residents to consider as we all work together to get through this crisis:

PAYING YOUR WATER BILLS

Our Municipal building is closed to the public at this time.  Please pay your water bill online, by mail or by using the 24-hour drop box located in the entry of the building (36 S. High).  We’ve installed a courtesy phone in the entry; if you need special assistance, please use the phone to contact a staff member so that we may assist you.  For information about online payments, visit https://canalwinchesterohio.gov/287/Online-Payments.

PERMITTING, INSPECTIONS, AND BUILDING & ZONING

Some residential inspections are currently suspended.  We appreciate your patience as we also navigate changes and limitations to our operations. With our Municipal building closed to public, we encourage submittals to our department by mail if possible, or by using the labeled drop-off bins located in the entry of the building.  If you have questions about submissions, please call the Planning & Zoning Department at 614-837-6742.

CANCELLATION AND CLOSURES

We will update you with additional cancellations or closures, if necessary, but the following remain in effect:

  • The Municipal Building is closed to the public.
  • The Frances Steube Community/Senior Center is closed and public activities are canceled.
  • All Commission meetings for March are postponed or canceled.
  • Mayor’s Court will not resume until April 16.
  • Most other public events and meetings have been canceled for the time being; check our website for details.

OTHER REMINDERS

Throughout the country and not just in Canal Winchester, people have been buying additional toilet tissue, but have also been purchasing larger quantities of wipes.  We want to remind everyone that wipes are not flushable, even if they are advertised as ‘flushable’ wipes. While wipes can flush down the toilet, they don’t decompose and break down like toilet tissue does.  Instead, they get caught up in wastewater treatment plant filters and can cause a lot of damage, and cause a lot of costly repairs to be needed.  If you’ve purchased wipes, please remember to throw them in the trash instead of the toilet.  Thank you for keeping wipes out of the pipes.

We continue to see our residents pull together and help one another as they can, and we’re encouraged by the resolve of our citizens.  We will get through this – together.  We conclude this message with our daily reminder to stay aware, stay calm, and stay tuned. 

UPDATE: March 16, 2020, 5:00 P.M.
The health and safety of our residents remain our primary concern.   The Mayor and city officials continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation very closely. We ask for your help in minimizing the spread and the impact of COVID-19.  The following notice will highlight some key points regarding our response to this unprecedented pandemic.

PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTIVES AND ORDERS

The CDC has modified their guidelines and now recommend that mass gatherings of over 50 people be avoided for the next eight (8) weeks.  Further, those residents who are 65 years of age or older, or those who are medically compromised, are advised to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.  According to the CDC, these individuals are far more susceptible to the effects of the virus, and may have up to 15x the fatality rate of non-compromised individuals.

CHANGES TO BUSINESS OPERATIONS

To avoid impacts to our operations, we will be developing work groups with staggered shifts for all of our public works employees.  Such efforts are made to mitigate any possible adverse impacts to operations in the event that cases of COVID-19 are reported locally.

In compliance with recommendations from federal and state leaders, as well as public health agencies, we will be limiting public access to all of our buildings beginning March 17, 2020.  Residents will be directed to leave payments in the drop box or use the courtesy phone located in the Municipal building vestibule to receive special instructions.

OTHER CANCELLATIONS AND CLOSURES

City Council meetings will resume on April 6, however, the public will not be permitted to attend in person.  Per the direction of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and the Ohio Public Meetings Act, public comments will be accepted prior to the meeting, and the meeting will be broadcast through the use of a livestreaming service such as Facebook Live.  Links to the broadcast will be made available on our website. If you have a comment regarding a piece of legislation, please utilize the comment form on the City’s website.  To find the form, click on the Government tab on our homepage (canalwinchesterohio.gov).  

All Commission meetings scheduled in March have been postponed or canceled, and are expected to recommence in April.  Planning and Zoning Commission meetings are scheduled to resume on April 13.

The Frances Steube Community/Senior Center will remain closed beyond April 3, per CDC guidelines limiting group activities.  We will notify the public of a reopening date, to be determined within the coming weeks.

VOTING

Regarding Voting – Governor Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Frank LaRose spoke today and agreed that Ohio residents who are in high-risk populations should not have to make a choice between their health and their constitutional duties.  They have recommended that Election Day be moved to June 2.  This recommendation must be ruled on judicially, however. Please keep informed of voting/election changes by watching the local news or by visiting the Secretary of State’s website: www.sos.state.oh.us.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS, FIRST RESPONDERS & OTHER AGENCIES

Many of our community partners, school districts, first responders, public agencies, and non-profit organizations are managing their COVID-19 responses as well.  Please visit their websites or call the respective agencies prior to showing up in person to provide help.  They likely have programs or protocols in place which can expedite and facilitate any volunteer requests or donations.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND PUBLIC HEALTH

We look to our partners at Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security as well as those at Franklin County Public Health for emergency preparedness leadership.  They have reported that cases of COVID-19 have reached at least 50 individuals in Ohio as of March 16, 2020.

These agencies reiterate that if you are feeling ill or experiencing symptoms, you should stay in your home and self-quarantine.  If anyone in your home is diagnosed with the virus, you are advised to stay at home as well – even if you are not experiencing symptoms.

For reliable and detailed information about COVID-19, we recommend that residents get information from the Franklin County Health Department, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Information can also be found online at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov or by calling Ohio’s COVID-19 Hotline at 833-4-ASK-ODH (833-427-5634).

Residents are reminded that these changes and guidelines and meant to slow the spread of the virus and minimize the impact on our community.  We reiterate: If you or a member of your household has an underlying health condition, please do not disregard these preventive actions.  We encourage everyone to be kind to one another and to help your neighbors as you can.  We are all working together to minimize the impact and the spread of COVID-19.  We’re encouraged by the outpouring of support we see throughout the community, and again we encourage all to stay aware, stay calm, and stay tuned.

UPDATE: March 15, 2020, 5:45 P.M.
The Mayor and city officials continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely.  As you may have heard, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has ordered all Ohio restaurants and bars to suspend on-site service to patrons, effective at 9:00 P.M. tonight, March 15, 2020. Carry-out service will be permitted. The health and safety of our residents is very important. The situation is changing rapidly, and we must all be prepared to make changes to our daily routines as needed.  You may be receiving messages from businesses, public agencies, school districts, and civic organizations.  Please try not to feel overwhelmed.  This underscores the fact that we are all working together to serve our community.  We understand that you may feel uncertain in these times, and we want you to know that we are working hard to do what’s right and what’s best.  The closure of our Community/Senior Center may be extended beyond April 3; we will announce any changes as they are made.  We must all understand that we are navigating an issue that is unprecedented.  As we all work together to minimize the impact and the spread of this virus, we appreciate the support of our community and encourage all to stay aware, stay calm, and stay tuned.


COVID-19 UPDATE MARCH 12, 2020
The City of Canal Winchester continues to monitor developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  We are committed to ensuring the safety of our residents and providing comprehensive, easily accessible communication regarding our response to COVID-19.  In accordance with executive orders and general recommendations made by the Governor of the State of Ohio and public health agencies, we are canceling all senior citizens activities and public programming at the Frances Steube Community/Senior Center through Friday, April 3, 2020.  Private events and rentals of the facility, provided such events are not violations of the Governor’s order, will be honored. 

At this time, the City has not made official changes to our staffing practices and general operations.  City offices and public buildings are routinely cleaned and disinfected in accordance with CDC sanitation protocols and our employees have been advised to stay home if they feel ill.  We recognize that some residents or business owners may expect to pay utility bills or apply for permits in the coming weeks.  If you are able to complete these tasks remotely, either online or by mail, please do so. 

Residents are advised to take the same precautions they would take to avoid getting the flu or a cold:

  • Wash your hands often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

In addition to these precautions, the public is advised to forgo practices such as shaking hands and to consider social distancing, such as trying to maintain distances of at least six feet from one another, if at all possible.  These efforts are meant to slow the spread of the virus and minimize the impact on our hospitals and health systems.  If you or a member of your household has an underlying health condition, please do not disregard these preventive actions.  These precautions are recommended to protect you, your family, and others in the community.

For reliable and detailed information about COVID-19, we recommend that residents get information from the Franklin County Health Department, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Information can also be found online at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov.



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