March 12, 2020
As of 2:00pm today, March 12, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine has placed an executive order banning mass gatherings of 100 or more people in a single room or single space, indoor or outdoor, including parades, fairs, and festivals. This does not include restaurants, train stations, airports, mass transit, libraries, malls and shopping centers, weddings, religious gatherings, or funerals. Additionally, all schools will be closed at the end of day on Monday, March 16th and will remain closed until at least April 3rd.
As the Health Commissioner of Marion Public Health, I also ask that you suspend non-essential travel, create policies that support your employees staying home when they are sick, and heed other advice given to us by the Ohio Department of Health and Governor Mike DeWine. I understand that this is a big ask. But this is also a big threat that we face. Our best chance to fight COVID19 is to limit our exposure to it. We owe this to our loved ones and to ourselves. This act of unity will save lives. There is no doubt that the Marion community has worked hard to create opportunities for community togetherness. I don’t want to diminish that hard work. But this sacrifice now will prevent tragedies later.
New guidance and stricter statewide containment strategies will come in the next days and weeks. Please get ahead of this now by creating plans to hold virtual meetings, work from home where appropriate, and find other ways to protect each other. Those of us who can take these steps will protect the people working in essential services such as healthcare, fire, EMS, law enforcement, and utilities.
My goal is that we get through this pandemic with as few casualties as possible. It takes all of us supporting each other to reach that goal. We will have cases of COVID19 in Marion County. We likely do already. We cannot stop the spread of disease. But we can limit it. We can protect vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying health issues.
Marion Public Health is posting COVID19 updates on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/marionpublichealth. Please follow us and encourage others to follow us. You should also monitor www.coronavirus.ohio.gov for all the latest information from the Ohio Department of Health. There is a multitude of resources for every sector and for families on that website. It is the source we are using for all of the information you receive from us.
Please contact me if you need to discuss this further. As new recommendations and orders come down from the state, I will provide you with that information.
Marion Public Health