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Posted on: March 19, 2020

City of Westlake COVID-19 Safety Precautions

Dear Residents,


The City of Westlake is taking numerous steps to keep employees and residents safe and help in the nationwide effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. These steps reflect recommendations from the CDC, the Ohio Department of Health and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health regarding social distancing and other best practices for mitigating the risk of spreading the disease.


Despite the challenges that have been created by the COVID-19 Coronavirus, your city staff is still available to assist you in your time of need. Our safety forces continue to perform well and are taking the necessary precautions to stay healthy and safe so they can respond to emergency needs. Our other departments have reduced some of the services but are attempting to be available for questions, emails and other concerns.


Since the pandemic is one of health, we are following all directives conveyed by the national, state and county health agencies. These directives change quickly and thus we suggest you regularly check coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH. The city has been promoting this information online at www.cityofwestlake.org, as well as on its social media pages.  


At this time, no employee of the City of Westlake has tested positive for the virus and there are many steps being taken by all of the city’s departments intended to allow the city to continue to conduct necessary business and provide vital services without unnecessarily exposing residents, employees or others to possible disease risk. This largely can be accomplished by conducting business remotely via email, phone and other channels of communication that do not require in-person interaction.


Update: To limit foot traffic at City Hall, which carries some risk of increased COVID-19 exposure for city staff and for visitors, the city has decided to keep the doors locked at the facility for the foreseeable future. The decision to do so came shortly after Governor Mike DeWine’s March 22 announcement of a Stay At Home Order for the State of Ohio. 


The following is a list of measures the city’s various departments are taking and what residents, businesses and professionals who are in contact or do business with the city should know moving forward:


Emergency services

Police and Fire personnel will be taking certain steps to limit direct contact with residents to the extent possible while still fulfilling their duty to protect and serve. Therefore, residents are encouraged to primarily contact emergency services via phone or email when possible. Phone numbers pertaining to specific types of issues can be found on the Police and Fire pages on the city’s website. Also, please note:

  • When interpersonal interaction is unavoidable, police officers will conduct such business outdoors when possible, even at the Police Station. Such business may include taking incident reports or complaints.
  • When Police or Fire personnel come in contact with residents during the course of conducting business, the resident will be asked standard COVID-19 pre-screening health questions.
  • Residents are encouraged to use the city’s website to file police reports and other forms accepted by WPD electronically. Electronic forms can be found, completed and submitted here: https://www.cityofwestlake.org/761/E-Form-Submissions.
  • In-person educational activities and facility tours will be cancelled.


Building/Engineering/Planning Departments

Building design professionals, construction companies and others are encouraged to submit bids, applications, and inquiries about inspections, construction plans and other matters via email, direct mail or phone – dial City Hall at 440-871-3300 to be directed to the appropriate department. Additionally, please note the following:

  • Permits are available on the city’s website HERE and via email.
  • Applications for boards and commissions also may be obtained online and via email.
  • Call ahead to request to leave documents near the entrance at City Hall.
  • Field inspections and property maintenance inspections are being conducted business as usual. 
  • Engineering-related inspections require 48-hour advance notice by phone.
  • Dye tests are on hold until further notice.
  • Meetings of the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals have been suspended.

 

Community Services Department

The Community Services Center is closed to the public but the Food Pantry and certain social services are still available with modified parameters. Additionally, employees are available to respond to questions and concerns by phone at 440-899-3544 and email. More details are available on the city’s website. Please note:

  • The Senior Transportation program will continue with modified parameters:
    • Necessary transports only (medical, pharmacy, grocery).
    • Riders will answer pre-screening questions by phone ahead of their ride regarding their health and the health of anyone in their home.
    • Vehicles are equipped with biohazard kits with masks, Purell and sanitizing wipes.
    • Vehicles are sanitized after each ride (door handles for example).
  • The Food Pantry is available by delivery only (with help from the Recreation Department) and staff is not to enter any homes.
  • Food procurement assistance will be offered to residents on a case by case basis.
  • There is continual communication with patrons via phone/email.
  • Volunteer youth will be sending cheerful mail to patrons.


Recreation Department

The Rec Center is closed to the public until further notice but will be staffed and capable of handling inquiries by phone at 440-808-5700 and email at recinfo@cityofwestlake.org. See more below:

  • Members can still register for upcoming programs online.
  • Fitness and group exercise staffers are sending suggested video workouts people can do from home, and are looking into developing Facebook Live classes.
  • Meadowood Golf Course will be open when weather and course conditions cooperate.


General public services

The Service Department will be taking extra precautions to limit contact with residents while conducting maintenance on city infrastructure and providing other necessary services. Some activities will be postponed until further notice:

  • Computer round-ups are postponed to a date TBD.
  • Household hazardous waste collection days are postponed to a date TBD.
  • No walk-in traffic will be permitted, including for picking up wood chips and for other purposes.


Cancellations/postponements

Directives from Governor Mike DeWine and pubic health officials at the state and national levels have forced the city to cancel several events and meetings to comply, particularly with directives banning large gatherings. Such cancellations and postponements include:

  • City Council meetings (postponed until further notice)
  • Planning Commission meetings (postponed until further notice)
  • Board of Zoning Appeals meetings (postponed until further notice)
  • Community Volunteer Fair (postponed indefinitely)
  • Annual Rain & Garden Show (cancelled)
  • Safety & Wellness Fair (cancelled)
  • Adult Easter Egg Hunt (postponed)
  • Town Criers Easter Egg Hunt (cancelled)
  • Adopt-a-Family Easter Bunny Breakfast (cancelled)


Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during these times. In addition, I would encourage everyone to be aware of your neighbors needs and don’t be hesitant to display acts of kindness when possible, while also being mindful of the aforementioned best health practices as recommended by public health officials (accessible via this link: coronavirus.ohio.gov). We have a great community here in Westlake and we have never been short of individuals that will step up or go above and beyond expectations to assist others. Let’s all become those individuals and do the unexpected.

 

Sincerely,

Mayor Dennis M. Clough

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