Newspaper

MEDIA RELEASE
News Date: March 13, 2020

Council Enacts COVID-19 Safety Measures

Columbus, OH -- As Ohio begins to feel the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbus City Council is taking steps to safeguard our community and staff.

The regularly scheduled Monday, March 16, 2020, Council meeting will occur as planned. While Council discourages public attendance, the public is encouraged to engage online. 

Residents who wish to provide input on legislative items should email CityClerkRequests@Columbus.gov with the subject “Testimony: Ordinance ####-2020” by Monday at 5 pm.
“We need to be very deliberate about health,” said Council President Shannon G. Hardin. “We encourage folks not to attend, but to engage online instead.” 

While City Hall and Council Chambers remain open to the public, additional sanitation stations will be stationed in City Hall and Council Chambers, and City Hall will be a “handshake-free zone.”

Each Council meeting is live-streamed via the City of Columbus website at www.columbus.gov/technology/media-services/ctv/. This Monday’s meeting will also be live-streamed via Council’s Facebook account at www.facebook.com/ColsCouncil/, and upon conclusion, the meeting will be posted on YouTube at youtube.com/cityofcolumbus/.

Following the March 16, 2020, regularly scheduled meeting, zoning meetings will be canceled for the next three weeks, with the first zoning to potentially return on April 20, 2020. Council is also canceling all of its neighborhood-based community events until April 6, 2020.

Council, in accordance with the Mayor’s closure of recreation centers and libraries, recommends that Columbus Area Commissions should not meet until April 6, 2020.  

City Charter mandates Council hold a minimum of 50 meetings a year. Council meetings will be canceled if:
• there is an inability to achieve a quorum necessary to conduct business;
• City Hall is unable to hold the regular meeting;
• the declaration of a City State of Emergency.

“If you’re sick, stay home,” continued Hardin. “We all need to practice social distancing by avoiding large gatherings and staying six feet apart in public spaces. This virus can be dangerous so please follow the daily guidance of our local health officials.”

The Franklin County Board of Elections is taking steps to protect the health of voters and poll workers as we approach Election Day. The Franklin County Board of Elections are deploying enhanced surface cleaning efforts, hand sanitizer stations, and making safety gloves available for use. Residents are encouraged to participate in early voting or vote on Election Day.

In order to avoid contracting an infectious disease, Columbus Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you:
• avoid close contact with people who are sick;
• cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
• avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
• clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
• stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care;
• wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

For the most reliable information, please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 website or the Ohio Department of Health or Columbus Public Health. For more information, contact the State of Ohio’s dedicated call center at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.