Blacklick, Ohio – The Ohio Township Association (OTA) has monitored the spread of COVID-19 (also referred to as coronavirus) throughout the United States and will continue to do so with the confirmation of Ohio’s first cases. The purpose of this release is to provide the OTA’s official recommendations for township protection, resources, and reminders for officials, staff, and OTA stakeholders in the face of this virus. As Ohio’s primary election day draws near – which will bring hundreds of Ohioans together in township halls that double as polling places – efforts to slow the spread of this virus must be vigilant.
According to the CDC, “For the general American public, such as workers in non-healthcare settings and where it is unlikely that work tasks create an increased risk of exposures to COVID-19, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.” With a focus on prevention, township officials and staff may yet be able to protect their communities.
On Thursday, March 12, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine officially banned mass gatherings of 100 or more people. With this in mind, alongside the OTA’s belief that townships’ preventative efforts are of the utmost importance, the OTA recommends that all County Township Association (CTA) meetings be postponed until the Governor lifts the ban on mass gatherings.
The OTA recently represented Ohio’s townships at meetings in Washington, D.C.; shortly afterward, cases of COVID-19 were reported in that area. In order to take the highest precaution and to minimize any possible exposure to township officials, staff, and residents across the state, no OTA staff member will attend CTA meetings scheduled over the next three weeks.
“Our goal has and will be to continue operations at the OTA office seamlessly, despite this unprecedented situation,” said OTA Executive Director Heidi Fought.
OTA staff will continue to offer support and resources, and the Association will strive to provide information and updates as the situation develops. The April OTA Board meeting and the upcoming CLOUT meeting have been canceled, and the April 24 Zoning Inspectors Group meeting has been postponed until July 17 out of an abundance of caution. The Grassroots Clippings newsletter and the upcoming County Memo will both provide updates to OTA members, as available, in the coming months.