April 3, 2020
Mayor Breneman’s Message to our Community
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.
Mayor of Wooster