Piqua releases timeline of responses to COVID-19


For the Miami Valley Sunday News



PIQUA — The city of Piqua Commission and staff have been working around the clock to ensure the safety of the Piqua community.

Below is a timeline of the city of Piqua Emergency Preparedness Plan actions that have been taken through March 18:

• Feb. 28 – The city of Piqua Health and Sanitation Director Amy Welker received the “Governor DeWine, Health Director Update COVID-19 Prevention and Preparedness Plan.”

• March 4 – The Piqua Health Department met with Miami County schools’ superintendents to discuss preparedness.

• March 9 – Welker gathered the city of Piqua Crisis Management Team to discuss possible scenarios of COVID-19. This team began to develop messaging and prepping for an Emergency Operations Center.

The Ohio Department of Health confirmed three individuals tested positive for COVID-19 in Ohio. This activated the city of Piqua’s Emergency Crisis Plan due to the potential of a dangerous illness having presence in the community that could affect the health, safety and welfare of the Piqua Community.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine declared a State of Emergency in Ohio.

• March 10 – City Manager Gary Huff began operating under Emergency Status after DeWine declared a state of emergency on March 9. The Piqua City Code, Title III: Administration, Chapter 35 Emergency Management, gives the city manager, who serves as the Emergency Preparedness coordinator, the emergency power and authority necessary to fulfill his general powers and duties. The judgment of the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator shall be the sole criterion necessary to invoke emergency powers.

The city also received the first negative test result for a Piqua resident.

Human Resources Director Catherine Bogan began sending health informational emails to all city staff and posting information in the city building.

• March 11 – City officials mitigated rumors about a person with a positive test as not true. The city reassured the community that there have been no positive cases of COVID-19 in Miami County.

• March 12 – DeWine bans mass gatherings of 100 or more people. The city of Piqua notified event organizers their need to postpone or cancel their events. All special event applications were denied until further notice.

The Piqua Health Department sent notification to long term care facilities, day cares, YMCA, regarding proper precautions and being prepared.

The Human Resources Department notified all employees who will or have recently traveled out of the country and/or traveled on a cruise ship would be required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to work.

• March 13 – DeWine announced school closures. Kindergarten through 12th grade schools were required to close.

The Piqua City Commission Meeting Cancellation Public Notice went out for the March 17 meeting due to no business.

The Piqua Health Department contacted local businesses regarding recommendation to close all salad bars and buffets due to potential point of virus spread in the community.

• March 15 – The Piqua City Commission directed the Piqua Utility Billing Office to suspend utility shut-off until further notice.

The State Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signed an order that all bars and restaurants in Ohio close by 9 p.m. Carry-out and delivery are still permitted.

The Piqua Health Department continued to work with local partners, the Ohio Department of Health, and the CDC to communicate with our local bars and restaurants on the new requirements.

• March 16 – Huff announced closure of all Piqua City Buildings to the public to begin March 17. Temporary procedures were put in place to allow city staff to continue to conduct business in a safe manner.

DeWine asked for Ohio’s election to be postponed until June.

DeWine ordered the closure of all bowling alleys, movie theaters, indoor water parks, indoor trampoline parks, fitness centers, gyms and recreation centers.

Acton issued a public order closing all Ohio polling locations due to the extreme health risk.

• March 17– DeWine issued an order to delay all elective/non-emergency surgeries and procedures in hospitals to preserve personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.

The Human Resources Department introduced a Telecommuting — Approval to Work from Home Policy and began working with the Piqua Information Technology Director Dean Burch to be able to accommodate these needs for qualifying city workers.

The Human Resources Department also required all employees who have traveled to or from Florida to self-quarantine themselves for at least 14 days before returning to work.

The Fort Piqua Plaza began to enforce the no mass gatherings above 10 people requiring all large events to be rescheduled or canceled.

The city of Piqua continued to send information regarding updated City Department Procedures through Piqua ALERT and other social media platforms.

• March 18 – DeWine orders all barbers, hair salons, spas, and tattoo parlors to close until further notice. The Piqua Health Department continued to work with local partners, the Ohio Department of Health, and the CDC to communicate with our local barbers, hair salons, spas, and tattoo parlors on the new requirements.

City staff participated in a conference call with the White House and heard directly from Vice President Pence what the federal government is doing to coordinate a response to this pandemic.

Miami County has the first positive case of COVID-19 in a resident of a long term care facility in Troy.

The city of Piqua will continue to release information through Piqua ALERT, Nextdoor, Facebook, and Twitter as it becomes available.

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For the Miami Valley Sunday News