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Posted on: March 23, 2020

COVID-19 Response in Whitehall

COVID

Last updated: 4 p.m., Friday, June 12
As a partner in promoting public health, and ensuring the safety and well-being of Whitehall residents, the City of Whitehall is continually engaging with the State of Ohio and Franklin County Public Health as the situation surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves. We have implemented appropriate adjustments to City operations, without compromising any of our core health-safety services such as police, fire and emergency medical services.

STATE OF EMERGENCY AND COMMUNITY GUIDELINES

Mayor Kim Maggard has proclaimed a State of Emergency in the City of Whitehall and has issued community guidelines that mirror the orders and guidelines issued by the State of Ohio. View the most recent proclamation here and the State of Ohio’s Stay Safe Ohio Order here. If we work together, we can continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

COMMUNITY GUIDELINES AND STAY SAFE OHIO TAKEAWAYS:

  • In line with the updated Stay Safe Ohio Order from the Department of Health, issued May 20, residents are no longer required to stay in their homes. However, residents are still given guidance to social distance and all mass gatherings over 10 individuals are still prohibited. Additionally, residents are strongly encouraged to ware a face covering anytime they are in a public place.
  • City Hall has reopened to the public (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.). All visitors are required to wear a face mask or similar face covering (both nose and mouth must be covered). Learn more >>
  • The updated Stay Safe Ohio Order phases-in the reopening of other types of businesses per the following schedule. For sector-specific operating requirements for businesses that are reopening, please check here >>
    • May 1: All medically necessary procedures that do not require an overnight stay in a healthcare facility or do not require inpatient hospital admission and minimizes use of personal protective equipment may be scheduled.
    • May 4: Manufacturing, distribution and construction businesses began reopening
    • May 12: Consumer, retail and service businesses began reopening
    • May 15: Personal services (including hair salons, barbers, nail salons, tanning facilities and licensed massage therapy) began reopening. Additionally, restaurants and bars began reopening outdoor dining areas. View a list of restaurants with delivery and take-out in Whitehall here >>
    • May 21: Indoor dining areas at restaurants and bars began reopening. 
    • May 22: Horse racing (without spectators) began reopening. 
    • May 26: Gyms, fitness centers and public/club pools (regulated by local public health departments) began reopening. Note that next steps for the Splash Pad at John Bishop Park will be announced soon. Additionally, non-contact or limited contact sports leagues may resume, and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles reopened for certain services (although online services are strongly encouraged). 
    • May 31: Day camps and childcare providers, as well as catering and banquet centers, began reopening. 
    • June 8: Outdoor visitation became allowed at properly prepared assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities 
    • June 10: Playgrounds, aquariums, zoos, art galleries, country clubs, social clubs, ice skating rinks, indoor family entertainment centers, indoor sports facilities, museums, public recreation centers, roller skating rinks and trampoline parks began reopening. 
    • June 19: Casinos, racinos, amusement parks and water parks may reopen.
  • In addition to these measures, take common sense measures to monitor and protect your health. All community members are directed to complete temperature checks, and to self-quarantine in the event of the onset of symptoms consistent with COVID-19 until cleared by medical professionals. For a full list of preventative measures and COVID-19 symptoms, please reference this information from Franklin County Public Health >>
  • Reporting Complaints: As the new Stay Safe Ohio Order continues, the City and Division of Police recognize that you may have questions about compliance, or may even want to report that your employer or another business is not fully following the order. Questions can be directed to the Ohio Department of Health by calling 1-833-4-ASK-ODH, and complaints can be filed with Franklin County Public Health here. Please do not call the Division of Police with these complaints, as the matter is being being handled by Franklin County Public Health. 

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

We’re all in this together. The City recognizes that there are many in our community who may be immunocompromised, elderly, impoverished or otherwise unable to access food, medication and other resources during this crisis. Visit the COVID-19 Resource page for the following information: 

  • A form to request assistance
  • A form to offer your volunteer services 
  • Senior resources
  • Student resources
  • Unemployment application information
  • Food banks 
  • A list of local restaurants carry-out/delivery options
  • A list of local grocery stores, noting those that offer curbside pick-up and special senior hours

CHANGES TO CITY OPERATIONS AND SERVICES

CITY HALL 

City Hall is open to the public Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.. Anyone visiting City Hall is required to wear a face mask or similar face covering for the safety of City employees and other visitors. Learn more about this requirement here >>

CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS

Until announced otherwise, all City Council Voting Meetings and City Council Committee meetings will continue to take place at City Hall, but will not be physically open to the public. Both meeting types will be live-streamed to the City’s Facebook page. View a list of upcoming meetings >>

For City Council Voting Meetings, in addition to being live-streamed, you may also watch the meeting on the City’s YouTube channel. Should anyone wish to submit a written message to be read during Poll Public (conducted during Voting Meetings Only), please email Clerk of Council Julie Ogg at julie.ogg@whitehall-oh.us by 5 p.m. on the Monday prior to the meeting. The message should still follow the rules of Poll Public - available here: https://www.whitehall-oh.us/356/Poll-Public-Rules. View the agenda (once available) online here: http://www.whitehall-oh.us/AgendaCenter/City-Council-1

POLICE AND FIRE 

Our police officers, firefighters and EMTs are working 24/7 to keep our community safe during this public health crisis. With contracting COVID-19 still being a high risk, residents will notice some changes to in-person interactions with police and fire personnel. This may include personnel maintaining six-feet from residents, and asking residents to step outside of their homes if possible. Please remember to practice social distancing if you encounter safety personnel and when possible, please file police reports online. File a police report online here >>

Additionally, our emergency dispatchers are asking screening questions to identify if an individual is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Please answer the questions truthfully. No one will be denied services because of how they answer or because they may have COVID-19. The screening questions simply help our officers and EMTs know whether personal protective equipment, like face masks, are necessary.  

PARKS & RECREATION PROGRAMMING 

All Parks & Recreation programs have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. Additionally, the Whitehall Senior Center remains closed. The City encourages anyone that may is sick, or that may have potentially been exposed to COVID-19, to voluntarily abstain from visiting our parks and recreational facilities. 

Event and Facility Notices:

  • Playgrounds: Playgrounds have officially reopened. While this is an exciting development, especially for our younger community members, please take personal safety precautions to help keep you and your family safe. Parks & Recreation staff members will not be monitoring the park playgrounds for health compliance, which means community members are invited to use the park equipment at their own risk.  Here are some ways we can help keep playgrounds safe as a community:
    • Stay home if you are sick
    • Sanitize your hands before and after play
    • Maintain social distancing (Six foot minimum)
    • Wear a mask or other face covering (Masks are not recommended for those under the age of two)
  • Sports Courts:Please note that due to the continued health orders prohibiting contact sports, basketball and other sports courts have not yet reopened
  • Splash Pad at John Bishop Park: Reopening information for the Splash Pad at John Bishop Park has not yet been issued. 
  • Portable Toilets: As the park playgrounds reopen, portable toilets will soon be available at Whitehall Community Park (402 N. Hamilton Road) , John Bishop Park (4815 Etna Road) and Lamby Lane Park (701 Lamby Lane). 
  • Park Hours: 7 a.m.-dusk unless otherwise posted
  • Senior Center: Closed to all activities.

TAX DIVISION - CITY AUDITOR’S OFFICE

The City Auditor has extended the filing deadline for 2019 local income tax returns by 90-days (from April 15 to July 15). While the City Auditor’s Office has reopened to the public, residents are still encouraged to file and pay for their local income tax filings online. Start here: https://www.whitehall-oh.us/134/File-Taxes. A reminder that the State of Ohio and the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have also extended their 2019 tax filing deadlines to July 15. 

MAYOR’S COURT OPERATIONS

MANDATORY: Text (614) 949-2776 with your first and last name and the last four digits of your Social Security Number to check-in

All Mayor’s Court cases are being stayed per the following updated schedule. Additionally, in an effort to maintain best practices for social distancing, Mayor’s Court has now implemented a mandatory text-to-check-in feature. When you arrive for court please text your first and last name and the last four digits of your social security number to (614) 949-2776 and you will receive a confirmation back stating that you have been checked in. Should the clerk require more information, they will reply as needed. When they are ready for you in court, you will receive a text message directing you to proceed through the main entrance and directly into the courtroom. You may also text any questions you may have for the Court office. There may be some delay in responses, so we thank you for your patience. 

Original Court Date:Rescheduled Court Date:
March 17June 2 (Rescheduled from April 14)
March 24June 9 (Rescheduled from April 21)
March 31June 16 (Rescheduled from April 28)
April 7June 23 (Rescheduled from May 5)

These changes will be reevaluated to determine if further rescheduling is necessary. Additionally, Presiding Magistrate Sean Maxfield and his staff will conduct as many pre-trial conferences via telecommunication as possible. Case-by-case exceptions to continuances may be ordered. Further, the Mayor’s Court is not limited in its ability to rule on motions. Electronic filing continues to be available.

For more information on courts in Franklin County please reference the following websites:

WHITEHALL CITY SCHOOLS

Governor DeWine has issued a new order, keeping school districts across the State of Ohio closed for the remainder of the school year.

Free student lunches: Whitehall City Schools is providing a grab-and-go style lunch for all Whitehall students in front of Whitehall Yearling High School from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday (starting Tuesday, March 17). Students will be encouraged to take their lunch and exit the property.

Please stay tuned to their website and social media pages for more information as the situation for students evolves. Whitehall City Schools Website / Whitehall City Schools Facebook

STOP THE SPREAD: PREVENTION MEASURES

COVID-imageThe City does stress the importance of protecting yourselves and your family by taking common-sense steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Should an individual in your family have a preexisting health condition, consult with your doctor on appropriate steps your family should take. 

We also encourage any resident who has access to tele-medicine to use that service when possible for routine medical issues (colds, minor injuries, etc.) so that our emergency rooms and hospitals can focus on serving the severely ill. 

For more prevention resources reference the following links: 



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