Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Submitted by ashley.brillhart on Tue, 03/10/2020 - 8:40pm
State of Ohio "Stay-At-Home" Order

UPDATE 3/22/20 - Director of Ohio Department of Health issues “Stay-At-Home” Order effective 3/23/20 @ 11:59pm

City of Wooster Government

Still Operating and Providing Services

While our community operates under a State-mandated Stay at Home order, the City of Wooster governmental operations are still functioning. There will be no disruption in your Police, Fire or EMS services and no disruption in Water Treatment, Distribution or Wastewater Collection operations. 

The City has had COOP's (Continuity of Operations Plans) in place for many years and has actively updated and planned for this current situation for many weeks. All other City functions continue, even though public interaction has been limited to only essential transactions. You will still see our maintenance workers repairing roads and other public infrastructure continuing as we seek to support our citizens and essential business operations.

Please do not hesitate to call or email us if you have any questions or concerns, using the contact information below, and check back here frequently for updates and information. While some of our office operations have been temporarily modified, we will respond as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your patience and for working together as a community for the good of all.

Sincerely, 

City of Wooster Administration

UPDATE 3/19/20 - Effective immediately, City of Wooster offices will be CLOSED to public walk-ins. 

The City administration has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation, along with the Wooster Community Hospital, Wayne County Health Department and other partner agencies.

Upon verifying the first cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in Ohio, the Governor, following the advice of the Ohio Department of Health has been issuing guidance for schools and other public entities in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

The City continues to be in the education/awareness phase, as well as striving to implement as many preventative actions as possible, while maintaining all City services.

We will continue to monitor the situation, coordinate with our partner health agencies, and continue to share any information and plans as they develop.

Our goals throughout this situation are to:

  1. Protect employees and their families from infection or spread of COVID-19
  2. Maintain services to our citizens.
  3. Reduce or eliminate the infection or spreading of COVID-19 to our customers/citizens, with a focus on at-risk individuals. At-risk individuals, as defined by the CDC, are older adults (above 60 and even more focus for above 70), and those with current health conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, lung issues, etc.

The City will continue to follow any guidance from the Governor's office, as well as that of other public health authorities, as we develop the specifics of further plans.

COVID-19 Update from Wooster Community Hospital

Wooster Community Hospital video update on COVID-19 with Vice President and CFO/COO, Scott Boyes and Vice President of Patient Services/CNO, Shelly Huff.

Links to services mentioned in the video-
WCH COVID-19 Q&A Call-in Line: 330.287.5924
Curbside Prescription Pick-up: https://www.woosterhospital.org/services/pharmacy/
Telehealth/WCH TodayCare: https://www.woosterhospital.org/telehealth-todaycare/
Urgent Care/NowClinic: https://www.woosterhospital.org/services/providers-wch-affiliated/nowcl…

Administration Buildings Closed to Public
City Logo

Effective immediately, City of Wooster offices will be CLOSED to public walk-ins. 

We will re-evaluate the situation on April 6, 2020. 

Although offices will be closed to public walk-ins, staff will be accessible by phone and email.  Please see the listing below for the number of pertinent City offices.

Contact us online by using the CONTACT form on our website - https://www.woosteroh.com/contact

In addition, online services are as follows:

All City offices and services can be contacted via email and phone for any needed help.

Contact information can be found on each Departments page, accessible at the menu in the top of your screen.

Promotion and education for citizens and customers will continue to be posted on the following online platforms:

Fire and Police Stations and Safety Services

The City of Wooster Fire and Police offices and operations at the Safety Center and fire stations located downtown and on Akron Road are closed to public walk-ins, effective immediately. This will be re-evaluated on April 6, 2020.

All police, fire and EMS services are in operation.

During the COVID-19 situation, the Wooster Division of Fire remain open and are focusing on mission critical activities.

To facilitate community risk reduction, the Fire Division staff will be working with the Wayne County Health Department to distribute emergency preparedness & prevention information to our communities vulnerable populations.

POLICE UPDATES - MARCH 19 @ 1:47PM

Until changes are recommended by the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health, the Safety Center and all Fire Stations will be prohibiting visitors at those facilities, will be suspending all tours of those facilities and will be limiting face to face contact as much as possible, in order to limit the exposure and spread of the COVID-19 virus to our citizens and safety forces. Patrols and responses to crashes, crimes and related calls will not change.

The Wooster Police Department prides itself on our ability to communicate with those we serve.  I think we can all agree that the ever-evolving situation withCOVID-19 is unprecedented and there is a lot of uncertainty.  Nevertheless, what is certain is that our officers are out there 24 hours a day 7 days a week doing our best to ensure all are safe. 

With that being said, in an effort to maintain our commitment to everyone’s safety we have made some temporary changes. First, we will respond to emergency or in-progress calls and crashes.  This will not change. Most importantly, we will be out there patrolling.  You will see our officers in all areas of the city and we will continue to protect and serve.  However, in an effort to limit everyone’s potential exposure to COVID-19 we have made some changes. These modifications include officers using the phone and email to gather information on non-emergency calls.  We also ask that you not come to the safety center to make a report or speak to an officer.  Moreover, if you would like to do a public record request, please do so by calling first and consider utilizing wpdrecords@woosteroh.com.  You can also acquire records by going to the public record section of our PD website.  Finally, in addition to these operational changes you may notice that we will not be doing building tours, in-person meetings, demonstrations, or speaking engagements. 

We are proud of the relationship we have built with all of you over the last several years.  Part of what makes WPD special is our willingness and ability to connect with the public.  Whereas we may be limiting our in-person contact with all of you, it doesn’t mean that we’re not there.  We will continue to reach out via social media and will be visible.

FIRE UPDATES - MARCH 16 @ 5:20PM

To minimize the impact on our healthcare and EMS system(s), PLEASE utilize the below guidance from the Wooster Community Hospital:

#Flattenthecurve

What to do if you suspect you have COVID-19

The vast majority of patients have mild/moderate symptoms and don’t require hospitalization.

Mild symptoms, stay home
Please stay home, self-isolate, and follow prevention measures to avoid infecting others.
While at home:

  • Practice frequent hand hygiene
  • Limit close contact with other people and pets
  • Do not share utensils, dishes, or drinking cups.

Worsening Symptoms, call first:
Before you go to a facility, we recommend you do one of the following to determine if you meet the CDC criteria for a COVID-19 test or to rule out another healthcare condition causing your symptoms

  • Call your Primary Care Provider
  • Have a virtual visit using the WCH Today Care app
  • Call the ODH at 1-833-427-5634.

The current CDC guidelines for testing are for patients that meet specific criteria. WCH is currently only able to test patients who are sick enough to be admitted to the hospital. As testing becomes more available, we will communicate this.

Severe symptoms, dial 9-1-1
If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, visit the Emergency Department or call 9-1-1.

Recreation & Parks
Cancelled programs and events

UPDATE MARCH 16 - COMMUNITY CENTER CLOSED

The Ohio Department of Health has ordered that all fitness centers, gyms, bowling alleys, recreation centers, indoor water parks, indoor trampoline parks and movie theaters to be closed at the end of the day Monday, March 16.

Based on this order, the City of Wooster Community Center will be closed at the end of the day on March 16th and will open when allowed by the Ohio Department of Health.

Spring and Summer sports programming and all other Recreation and Community Center activities and events are being evaluated on a day-to-day basis and as soon as any decisions have been made to cancel, postpone or go ahead with the program/class/activity/event we will let you know!

Refunds will be issued to all customers who have previously paid for canceled class dates and events.

MEALS ON WHEELS UPDATE MARCH 29

Meals on Wheels will continue to operate and deliver meals to the residents of Wayne County from the Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio central kitchen facilities in Massillon and Akron. Anyone wishing to sign up for the Meals on Wheels service, please call 1(800)466-8101.

Registrations and reservations can also be completed online at www.woosteroh.com/recreation.

UPDATE MARCH 29 - BASKETBALL COURTS AND PLAYGROUNDS CLOSED

On Sunday, March 22, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine ordered public playgrounds to close to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. The City of Wooster has placed CLOSED signs at each of our playgrounds and as soon as the closure is uplifted we will be performing a thorough cleaning and disinfection to all playground equipment in our parks before reopening them. 

The order to close playgrounds is part of the Stay-At-Home order requiring Ohio residents to remain in their homes until April 6.

Residents may leave their homes to shop for groceries and other household necessities and go to work at essential businesses, among other exceptions. People may still visit public parks or open outdoor areas. Among the exceptions are outdoor activities such as walking, running, hiking and bicycling, while maintaining a six-foot distance from others. Children are also permitted to play outdoors.

The City of Wooster, the Wooster Community Center & Recreation Department and the Public Properties Maintenance Division (Parks) will continue to monitor the situation, coordinate with our partner health agencies and continue to share any information and plans as they develop. Please visit www.woosteroh.com and the City of Wooster social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for updates.

Future Public Meetings

Due to the ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, and the current social distancing requirements, all public meetings that are not cancelled will be held through teleconferencing. This will continue until further notice.

Members of City Council and all boards and commissions are asked to attend by calling the phone number provided below at the scheduled time of the meeting. Fifteen minutes before the meeting, a nine-digit code needed to join the meeting will be provided on the City of Wooster Website and Facebook page. When calling the number provided below, please enter the nine-digit code as prompted to join the meeting. Members of the public will be able to join the meeting in the same way.

The phone number for all meetings will be 646-307-1990.

The latest schedule can be found below:

  • Wooster Growth Corporation - Scheduled for 3/26/20 - Cancelled
  • Wayne Trails Meeting - Scheduled for 4/1/20 - Cancelled
  • Charter Review Commission - Scheduled for 4/8/20 - Cancelled
  • Traffic Commission - Scheduled for 4/9/20 - Cancelled
  • Urban Forestry Commission - Scheduled for 4/13/20 - Cancelled

Please check here periodically for updates.

Planning Commission & Design & Review Board

There is no change to currently scheduled Planning Commission and Design & Review Board meetings times. Please refer to the directions above for public access to those meetings.

Council Meetings
City Hall

By unanimous vote the Wooster City Council members have canceled the April 6, 2020 council meeting due to the Stay at Home order and lack of city business.  Upcoming meetings will be held remotely. Public access to those meetings, however, may be changed to utilize virtual meeting accommodations and remote public input options. Please refer to the directions above for public access to those meetings.

Citizens should be aware that all Council meetings are recorded and published online on our Youtube channel and broadcast on MCTV channel 22 on the following dates:

Wednesday & Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. & 11:30 p.m.

Thursday & Friday mornings at 7:30 a.m.

Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

Friday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

Additional COVID-19 Information

For additional, up to date information and guidance on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please visit the websites at the links below:

Sewer Safety Tips