These past weeks have been challenging for the City of Willoughby and more specifically, for our merchants, bars, and restaurants. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has quarantined most of us, and the governor has placed significant restrictions on our business community. These are efforts to control the spread of this virus. We have been in constant communication with the Lake County General Health District, and we are receiving daily updates. Chief Ungar and our fire department are briefed and ready to help manage the situation throughout this time. We encourage our residents to check with our Lake County General Health District at https://www.lcghd.org/2019-novel-coronavirus-ncov/, the Ohio Department of Health at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/, and, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov. These are the most reliable and accurate sources for information regarding COVID-19.
We are also encouraging our residents to continue to support our businesses by “buying local.” It is an incredibly difficult time for Willoughby businesses, and they need our help. Over the next weeks, I am asking that you join me in helping local businesses throughout our community when you can.
The City is also taking precautions to manage this pandemic. For the safety of our community and employees, we have suspened public interface at City Hall and closed the Senior Center. Offices will maintain normal operating hours, but the buildings will not be open to the public. We’ve postponed all events, trips, activities and programs scheduled through our Senior Center and Parks and Recreation Department at least through early April. Our buildings and grounds personnel have initiated an aggressive daily disinfectant policy as have our police and fire departments. While we are exercising these measures, we want to assure our residents that essential city services such as police, fire and service will continue.
The coronavirus pandemic has been challenging, but I am encouraged how our community has responded during the crisis. Businesses have voluntarily curtailed hours of operation, allowed work from home, and eliminated unnecessary meetings. The use of technology has been an essential asset in enabling this. Our residents have shown the spirit of community by volunteering to help others. I have heard stories of a high school student willing to watch children for working parents during her time away from school, a young man willing to do household chores for high-risk residents, teachers and students ready to communicate with seniors to help them cope with social isolation. These are incredible acts of kindness and show the heart and spirit of Willoughby. Over the next weeks, I ask everyone for patience, understanding, and cooperation as we continue to navigate this challenging situation. I am confident that we will get through this and return to normalcy.