The Delaware County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Thursday “declaring a state of emergency in Delaware County and approving a temporary COVID-19 emergency operations plan.”
Under the plan, which took effect today and runs through April 5, the public’s access to county facilities is being restricted, and access to county offices is by appointment only. The resolution notes the restriction doesn’t apply to “court offices and facilities that are necessary for the efficient operation of the courts, which shall remain open subject to order of the judges for each court.”
A notice on the county’s Facebook page states, “The state of emergency declaration by the Delaware County Commissioners does not restrict citizens’ ability to move about in the county. It is a primarily administrative action that enables a government body to exercise powers that it normally would not have in order to maintain its operations.”
The biggest impact the state of emergency has is on individuals employed by the county. All non-required county employees are being told to stay home, and they will be paid in full for the duration of the state of emergency. Paid leave hours will not be impacted. Required employees will still be on the job performing everyday job duties whether that be remotely or onsite.
“The county commissioners’ order regarding non-required personnel working from home applies only to Delaware County government-employed personnel,” the county reiterated via a notice posted on the Delaware County Ohio Facebook page. “It does not apply to employees of any other organizations, businesses or jurisdictions.”
After the initial April 5 deadline passes on the emergency operations plan, the resolutions states the plan “may be extended and/or modified by order of the board or the county administrator.”
Under the state of emergency issued Thursday by the board, commissioners meetings that normally take place on Mondays have been canceled. Thursday meetings are still set to take place as scheduled but without public comment. All who still want to watch the meetings are able to on the county website via livestream. The next meeting will take place March 26. Public comment can still be submitted by email. A list of contact information can also be found on the county website.
Prior to the resolution being passed by the commissioners Thursday, foot traffic in county buildings had already greatly diminished. County Administrator Michael Frommer stated, “We had already taken many proactive measures to limit the exposure of our employees and the public to this virus, and we were pleased to see more than an 80% reduction in the number of daily visitors to our courthouse from the beginning of March and a 60% reduction in visitors to the Hayes Administrative Building, but now we need to do more.”
Residents who are not employees of the county should still follow any orders or guidelines set forth by the state and federal government. These orders can be subject to change each day with Gov. Mike DeWine’s announcements.
For more information regarding steps the county is taking during the current pandemic, visit co.delaware.oh.us.
“We have been steadfast in our goal of protecting our employees and the public while maintaining essential county function,” Frommer said. “And the sooner we can slow down the spread of this disease, the sooner we can get all our lives back to normal.”
Contact Alex Hulvalchick at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @amhulvalchick.