Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Submitted by ashley.brillhart on Tue, 03/10/2020 - 8:40pm
UPDATE 7/23/20 - Director of Ohio Department of Health Order for Facial Coverings throughout the State of Ohio
All individuals, in the State of Ohio shall wear facial coverings at all times when:
a. In any indoor location that is not a residence;
b. Outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their family/household; or
c. Waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, a taxi, car service, or a ride sharing vehicle.
This does not apply to private or rental vehicles where members of a family/household are sharing a vehicle.
The requirement to wear a facial covering does not apply when:
a. The individual is under ten years of age;
b. A medical condition including those with respiratory conditions that restrict breathing, mental health conditions, or disability contraindicates the wearing of a facial covering;
c. The individual is communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired or has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
d. The individual is alone in an enclosed space, such as an office, or in lieu of an enclosed space, the individual is separated by at least six feet in all directions from all other individuals, and in either case the space is not intended for use or access by the public;
e. The individual is actively engaged in exercise in a gym or indoor facility so long as six or more feet of separation between individuals exists;
f. The individual is actively participating in athletic practice, scrimmage, or competition that is permitted under a separate Department of Health order;
g. The individual is actively engaged in a public safety capacity, including but not limited to law enforcement, firefighters or emergency medical personnel;
h. The individual is seated and actively consuming food or beverage in a restaurant or bar;
i. Facial coverings are prohibited by law or regulation;
j. Facial coverings are in violation of documented industry standards;
k. Facial coverings are in violation of a business’s documented safety policies;
l. Individual is actively participating in broadcast communications;
m. Individual is an officiant of a religious services; or
n. In an industrial or manufacturing facility, employees are separated by at least six feet in all directions, or by a barrier in a manufacturing line or work area.
o. Schools offering kindergarten through grade twelve instruction (or some portion of it) that comply with the guidelines set forth by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health.
p. Child care centers, family child care, in-home aids, day camps, and after school programs licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) that comply with current and future guidelines set forth by ODJFS and the Ohio Department of Health.
Nothing in this order is intended to interfere with the separation of powers under the Ohio Constitution. Businesses must apply exceptions to wearing a mask equally to all persons. This Order does not apply to jails or prison facilities. This Order is not intended to supersede, supplant or preempt any order or law of a local jurisdiction that is more restrictive than this Order. For the purposes of this Order, a facial covering (mask) is any material covering an individual’s nose, mouth, and chin.

UPDATE 5/21/20 - Director of Ohio Department of Health replaces "Stay Safe" order with "Urgent Health Advisory: Ohioans Protecting Ohioans" with key social-distancing rules, including a ban on most mass gatherings and restrictions on bars and restaurants, and other industry-specific protocols remaining mandatory until further notice. 

UPDATE 4/30/20 -  Director of Ohio Department of Health amends "Stay Safe" Order effective 4/30/20 @ 11:59pm to extend through May 29, 2020 @ 11:59pm unless the Director of the Ohio Department of Health rescinds or modifies this order at a sooner time and date.

UPDATE 4/2/20 - Director of Ohio Department of Health amends "Stay-At-Home" Order effective 4/6/20 @ 11:59pm to extend through May 1, 2020.

ORIGINAL ANNOUNCEMENT - 3/22/20 - Director of Ohio Department of Health issues “Stay-At-Home” Order effective 3/23/20 @ 11:59pm through April 6, 2020.

City of Wooster Government
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Still Operating & 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

City Hall Open by Appointment Only

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.

 

For Payments, use the drop box to the right of the City Hall main entrance door.

Please do not put payments in the envelope holder.

Utility payments may be made online at htts://www.iwebms.net/woosteroh or by phone at 330-263-2126.

To schedule an appointment, please contact the person or department via phone or email:

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

Additional online services are as follows:

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

Mayor Breneman's Message to Our Community
mayor's message

As you are aware we are facing a health crisis in our city, state, and nation with an intensity which has never been seen by most living people. This is a situation which we must take very seriously and need to follow the professionals who are guiding the protocol in staying safe in living through this virus. We have been planning the spin up of our critical city services for many months, and have put those plans into place within the past weeks.

These Essential City of Wooster Services are comprised of:
• Wooster Community Hospital (WCH)
• Police, Fire, EMS and Dispatch services (PD, FD, EMS, Dist)
• Utility services of Water, Sewer, and the pipeline’s that support these. (Utility)
• Maintenance keeping up our infrastructure (roads, lights, sidewalks, parks) (PPM)
• Admin. services (Finance, HR, IT, Engineering, Admin.) to support these lines. (Admin)

WCH – The virus is now present in our community. We have a few patients in the hospital. The majority of tests performed have come back negative for the virus; adjacent counties are showing an increase in patients. Test results are still taking too long to be helpful. We have plans in place to handle the surge in patients, which most likely will happen in the next 2 to 3 weeks in our city. We have an Awesome Staff who are performing well in a tough situation. The most important thing I hear from the Doctors is: Tell people to stay home – the virus cannot move without people. If people stop, the virus stops. And wash your hands and continue social distancing of at least 6 feet!

PD, FD, EMS & Dist – Our safety forces are handling things very well to date. All are following a virus protocol to protect themselves and the people they are serving. Our main concern is keeping our crews healthy and uninfected. We have a COOP (Continuance of Operations Plan) which was put in place about 10 years ago to handle situations just like the present. We are thankful for the talent, expertise and training of our Safety forces. You can depend on them!

Utility – Dependable, safe, fresh water at your tap is another critical function of the city, along with having the used water go away once you are done with it. We do this every day – you can depend on it! Again, keeping staff healthy and uninfected is key, and a plan to deal with things if not.

PPM – We are doing the essentials at this point; keeping the streets usable and pothole free for residents and emergency vehicles, keeping parks & sidewalks open to the public, doing traffic control, and closing areas (playgrounds, b-ball courts, etc.) by order of the Governor. We have a Great Team working here!

Admin – Paying bills, keeping web-sites and information sources available, managing projects we have in motion (critical infrastructure) and guiding emergency response to the virus. We are here for the duration, and will be leading the charge to get our city back up and running after the virus passes!

We will get through this pandemic. There will be loss, hard days, and making tough decisions, but we are well prepared, and better than most to face this challenge. We will need everyone’s help to slow this virus down, and to get our community back up and running after the crisis passes.

Please pray for and Thank all those who are standing in harm’s way to keep our community safe.

Bob Breneman
Mayor of Wooster

Wooster Community Hospital Update

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…

Department Specific Information
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Income Taxes

The City of Wooster Income Tax Department has extended the filing deadline for Wooster City income tax returns. This also includes extending the time to pay. The new filing deadline is: JULY 15, 2020

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. We are currently re-evaluating the situation based on the guidelines of Responsible ReStart Ohio.

All police, fire and EMS services are in operation.

Police Department

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 Department & EMS

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.

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.

Parks & Recreation

City of Wooster Parks and Recreation Closures and Event Cancellations

Below you will find a list of facility closures and program/event cancellations as well as information regarding rentals at The Chalet and park pavilions, current special event permitting procedures and City of Wooster Aquatic Facilities.

These decisions to cancel, postpone and reschedule are not easy and we know that this impacts many families, both in and outside of Wooster. Our community partners have the full support of the City as they face these difficult decisions. These steps will help reduce the risk and spread of the disease and protect our participants. We know the impacts these closings and cancellations have on your everyday life and appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

Programs, activities, and rentals are cancelled until such time as the State of Ohio allows these facilities to be reopened; this includes all scheduled special events hosted by the City of Wooster and any events requiring a special event permit issued by the City of Wooster (except for any essential operations as outlined in the Stay Safe Order). Refunds will be issued to those who have already paid for programs for this year.

This information will continue to be updated online as needed and shared on our social media channels.

The following Parks and Recreation facilities are closed and programming and events cancelled until further notice: *please see notes of recent openings.

  • Wooster Recreation & Community Center
    • Fitness Room Memberships will be adjusted accordingly for time lost.
    • Programs will be refunded at a prorated amount for services that could not be rendered during the closure of the Recreation & Community Center. Refunds will be issued via check or credited to account. Please allow 10 days for check refunds.
  • Christmas Run Pool *CLOSED FOR 2020 SEASON* (Freedlander Pool open as of June 15 & Knights Field Sprayground open as of July 1 *BOTH FACILITIES CLOSED FOR SEASON AS OF AUGUST 15)
  • Wooster Soccer Complex (open to contracted groups only)
  • Knights Field Kiddie City
  • Freedlander Park Miles Specht Memorial Disc Golf Course (opened 5/26)
  • City Park Playgrounds (opened June 10)
  • City Park Restrooms (all Park restroom facilities are open as of 6/10)
  • City Park Sports Courts and Athletic Fields (Pickleball & Tennis opened 5/26, Sand Volleyball opened 8/1)

Rentals – Park Pavilions

  • All scheduled pavilion rentals have been cancelled through August 30. Existing rentals for August 30, 2020 and later will be reviewed on a weekly basis and honored or cancelled based on the State of Ohio orders at that time.

Rentals - The Chalet at Freedlander Park

  • We are currently taking reservations and holding rentals in The Chalet at Freedlander Park! Capacity is limited and social distancing guidelines for catering/banquet facilities are being enforced.

Parks maintenance operations will continue and City parks are open for walking, jogging, running and hiking as long as users abide by social distancing guidelines.

Please adhere to all health and safety measures at our newly re-opened facilities in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Special Event Permits and Event Cancellations

Special Event, Block Party & Stage Permit Modifications Related to COVID-19

Events meeting the criteria in which a Special Event Permit is required include parades, 5K’s, concerts, etc. 

  • The City of Wooster is implementing the following actions in regards to Special Event Permits to ensure consistency with the State of Ohio’s Stay Safe order (https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/):
  • Existing Permits- 
    • All approved events held through August 16, 2020 that required a Special Event Permit, have been cancelled. 
    • If you have an approved Special Event Permit for an event held through August 16, 2020, a refund will be issued for any payments made or a rescheduled date can be identified after August 16, 2020, or the lifting of the Order.
    • If you have an approved Special Event Permit for an event scheduled after August 16, 2020, your existing permit will need to be revised and a new detailed map and description of how you plan to follow the Ohio Department of Health and Governors Orders at the time the event takes place must be added in the attachments section. 
  • Future Permits & Events- The City of Wooster will accept permit applications for events scheduled after August 16, 2020, but will not process or approve a special event, block party or stage permit until such a time that the Stay Safe Order has been rescinded and/or updated to allow for events of that nature to take place. 

Since there have been multiple event cancellations in light of COVID-19, the City of Wooster is advising that residents and visitors reach out to the event organizers prior to the scheduled event date if you are planning to attend an event in the City of Wooster.

Community Event Cancellations

  • May 25 - Memorial Day Parade 
    • This was a non-government event, for which the City provided support in coordination with the Memorial Day Committee and the Veterans Service Commission.
  • July 4 - Wooster Fireworks Celebration
    • This was a non-government event, for which the City provided support in coordination with the Exchange Club, Wooster Rotary and the Wooster Fireworks Committee.
Aquatic Facilities

FREEDLANDER POOL & KNIGHTS FIELD SPRAYGROUND ARE CLOSED FOR THE SEASON AS OF AUGUST 15, 2020.

The City Administration and Recreation staff have had many discussions internally regarding aquatic facility operations for this Summer, and have been evaluating many options. We have followed and will continue to follow the State of Ohio and Governor's orders in regards to aquatic facility guidelines.

As with all City services, these types of decisions are not taken lightly. Our first priority is the safety and health of our community. We have made the decision to open Freedlander Pool with a projected opening date of June 15 however, due to the need for expanded health and safety measures and the delay in guidance for aquatic facility regulations, Christmas Run Pool will remain closed this summer.

UPDATE 7/22/2020 - FREEDLANDER POOL: MASK-WEARING POLICY

To our Freedlander Pool patrons: Per the governor’s instruction of a Statewide mask mandate, you will be required to wear a mask when: 

  • entering our facility
  • making payment at the cashier’s desk
  • while walking through the locker rooms until you reach the pool deck outside
  • outdoors on the pool deck only if you are unable to maintain 6ft distance between a member not of your household. 

Exceptions include children under the age of 10 and those who meet the criteria for not having to wear a mask listed in the Governor's orders. We ask that you assist us in following the rules so that our facility can continue to be enjoyed for the remainder of this season.

UPDATE as of 6/30/2020 - Knights Field Sprayground will open as of July 1!

We recognize the popularity and benefits of all three of our aquatic facilities to our citizens, and understand the desire for re-opening facilities for a sense of "normalcy".  At the same time, we are responsible to our citizens to consider and protect their health and safety and adequately comply with the state's orders.

Information will be updated on the 2020 Pool Season page and announced on City social media channels as necessary. Please be aware that City of Wooster aquatic facility policies are subject to change and adjustments may be made throughout the Summer in accordance with local, State of Ohio and Federal guidelines and in order to best serve our community. 

Please check the City of Wooster’s website and social media for any updates on session reservations and facility policies. Questions regarding City of Wooster aquatic facilities can be directed to the Recreation Department at (330)263-5207 or recreation@woosteroh.com.

2020 Freedlander Pool Information
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 on either Zoom or join.me meeting platforms. This will continue until further notice.

Members of City Council and all boards and commissions are asked to attend by calling in at the scheduled time of the meeting. Fifteen minutes before the meeting, a phone number and code needed to join the meeting will be provided on the City of Wooster Website and Facebook page. 

Members of the public will be able to join the meeting in the same way and all of these meetings are available on the City of Wooster YouTube channel located at www.youtube.com/cityofwooster.

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.

City Council Meetings

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.

Sewer Safety Tips