Corona Virus Update
March 31st Update from Fire Chief Sheehan and Mayor Graven:
Chief Sheehan: As you know, the ability of a city to protect its residents from COVID-19 depends on first responders and health care personnel, our first line of defense, staying healthy as they save lives. Since the early stages of this pandemic, our city has been prepared. We have the equipment and supplies essential to protecting our first responders and residents. We are prepared, and we continue to prepare and train every day. Also, the Police Chief, Mayor and myself have meetings every day to monitor the situation.
Mayor Graven: We also have excellent communication and coordination between our city and hospitals and other government agencies. I talked to Southwest Hospital CEO, Bill Young, on Monday March 30th, and Terry Allen, Cuyahoga County Health Commissioner, last week.
I would also like to thank the doctors and all health care workers who run towards the line of danger, as the rest of us stay safe in our home. Thank you for choosing to serve and care for those that may be suffering from this virus. Many health care workers choose the profession because they feel called to help others. The health care workers deserve extra thanks for going above and beyond just doing their job. If you know a health care worker, please thank them and ask if there is something that could be done to make their lives easier. I also want to thank all of the grocery store workers and truck drivers, take out restaurant staff, and all cleaning personnel.
In closing, our community will make it through this fight if we continue to stay home, practice social distancing but not social isolation, and support one another. In the face of adversity, our city residents are working together to support one another and it is very inspiring.
James P. Graven, Mayor
March 26th Update:
Good Afternoon: The COVID-19 outbreak has led to major changes here in Olmsted Falls, across our state and country, and all over the world. What does this mean for the residents of Olmsted Falls? The city probably won’t be able to give you every answer you are looking for, although we will try to point you in the right direction.
As of 2:00 p.m. on March 25th, the Ohio Department of Health tracked the following number of confirmed cases in the state; 704 confirmed cases in 55 counties. The Ohio Department of Health has a website that updates these numbers daily. The state has also created a COVID-19 hotline you can call to get your questions answered. The number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). Website: coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Cuyahoga County had 206 confirmed cases as of 2:00 p.m. yesterday. Cleveland had 50 of those cases, and there were 156 confirmed cases throughout the suburbs of Cuyahoga County.
Similar to all other suburbs, Olmsted Falls does not have our own health department. Our city contracts with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to provide public health services. The Cuyahoga County Board of Health handles all reportable disease surveillance and tracking. The county has a specialized team of experts including data analysts. The county is not releasing any specific demographic information or municipal-level data due to privacy concerns. Call the Cuyahoga County Board of Health at 216-201-2000 for further information.
As many of our residents find themselves without work, the state has opened up unemployment claims to those affected by COVID-19 related layoffs. State Unemployment Information: file by phone at 1-877-644-6562 or 1-888-642-8203, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Our small businesses are also taking a huge hit as many are forced to close. Help is available through the Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program businesses are encouraged to reach out to email@example.com for assistance.
Please stay home and stay safe.
MARCH 24th, UPDATE:
Good afternoon: the City issued a Ready Notify message today via email, text, and phone call. We also issued an Alertizen alert. These messages alerted our residents to “Please remember the City of Olmsted Falls Stay at Home Initiative, and the State of Ohio order.” The alert also stated “Thank you for your cooperation. Stay safe, stay healthy, and do your part to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Thank you, Odis Rogers, Chief of Police.”
The alerts were issued because we want our citizens to take this seriously, and we are doing everything we can to make sure that all of our citizens are aware of how important it is to stay home. As your Mayor and Safety Director, I believe there is no higher priority than protecting the health, safety and well-being of our residents. I want you to know that our city is prepared. I have the utmost faith in Fire Chief Sheehan and Police Chief Rogers. They are smart, experienced, hard-working and mission driven. We have the ability to respond to this. We are staying up to date on the latest information by partnering with hospitals, doctors, all three Health Systems in Greater Cleveland, other community leaders, and other local first responders. When we work together we are stronger.
We may have a difficult road ahead, but I am confident that the actions we have taken to date are helping, and we are poised and ready to take any additional steps that may be needed. Stay home and stay safe.
Your Public Servant,
James P. Graven, Mayor
MARCH 22ND, UPDATE: As you are aware the City of Olmsted Falls implemented our "Stay at Home Initiative" last Friday. Most of our citizens have been doing a great job following our advice. Since last Friday I have noticed that almost all of our residents have been adhering to our “Initiative”, and have been only going out for essentials. We have learned this afternoon that the Governor of Ohio is implementing his stay at home order effective Monday evening (March 23rd) at 11:59 p.m. I would strongly suggest that our citizens continue to follow our Stay at Home Initiative and NOT WAIT until Monday evening to stay home. As Mayor and Safety Director my first priority is to protect our citizens and keep them safe, and that is why we have been taking aggressive actions early on.
These are stressful times we live in, and we are at a tipping point, we must lower the spread of the COVID-19 Virus now. The City believes that our measures to limit the movement of our population have been taken seriously. Our administration believes that all of these aggressive actions will help to keep our community safe. We all need to stand together and act in a calming voice during these difficult times.
UPDATE - ALL CITY OWNED BASKETBALL COURTS WILL BE CLOSED EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE - THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION.
SATURDAY - MARCH 21ST - Last night the administration received an email informing us that there were many kids using the basketball court at the Village Green Park. To protect the health and welfare of our community we are closing the basketball court effective today March 21st until further notice. As you are aware the city has a "STAY AT HOME INITIATIVE." Unfortunately, not all of our residents are following our advice. If you have any questions please call or email City Hall. Thank you for your cooperation. Please stay safe and stay at home.
Weekend Update - This article explains how the city has been preparing for our COVID-19 response. If you have any questions please email or call City Hall. Have a good weekend - Stay Home and Stay Safe.
VIEW ARTICLE HERE
MARCH 20, 2020 - Update
SAFER AT HOME INITIATIVE
These are unprecedented and extraordinary times. I would respectfully ask residents to please stay at home and only leave for essentials such as prescriptions, food shopping, gas, banking, medical care, takeout restaurants, or going for a walk in your neighborhood or hiking. I am taking this urgent initiative to limit the spread of COVID-19 and SAVE LIVES.
I also want to warn the young and healthy citizens that you are not exempt from the possibility of getting this virus. We can’t wait, and we must act now.
As you will recall, back on March 18th, I stated to you “Please take this seriously. Please remember that someone who has no symptoms may still inadvertently pass this virus to others. Practice social distancing. This is about protecting citizens from contracting the virus, and from exposing others to it.” Now is the time to be even more vigilant. Please stay home. I have researched and studied this issue, and have determined that those cities that act quickly have a better chance of defeating this virus.
I would like to thank all of our citizens for their cooperation. We need to UNIFY AS ONE COMMUNITY TO FIGHT THIS VIRUS.
STAY CALM, STAY SAFE, AND STAY HOME.
Your public servant,
James P. Graven, Mayor
March 19, 2020 - Update
As of this afternoon there are now 119 COVID-19 confirmed cases in Ohio, which is an increase from Wednesday’s 88 confirmed cases. There are 33 hospitalized, an increase from Wednesday which was 26.
Our Fire Chief has been in communication with the Medical Directors from our three major hospital systems – Cleveland Clinic, Metro Health, and University Hospitals. We are all collaborating daily to ensure that our fire department receives unified instructions from the hospital systems. This collaboration process is based upon factual information from the CDC and Ohio Department of Health. We are making decisions based on our local situation and risk index. We should anticipate that these guidelines will be fluid and subject to frequent modifications.
I have full confidence in our chiefs, directors, and administrative team to help our city deal with this unique situation. Our chiefs, firefighters, and police officers are smart, hardworking, dedicated and mission-driven.
March 18, 2020 - Update
This afternoon at 1:00 I participated in the White House COVID-19 briefing call with many other Mayors throughout our country. Vice President Pence told us that this coronavirus is three times more infectious than the flu. Please take this seriously, although there is no need for panic. Please remember that someone who has no symptoms may still inadvertently pass the virus on to others. Avoid socializing in groups larger than 10 people and avoid traveling. Please practice social distancing. This is about protecting citizens from contracting the virus, and from exposing it to others. Also, at this time HHS (Health & Human Services) is working on a simpler test. The federal government is now prioritizing who should be tested:
- Patients with symptoms
- Elderly People
- First Responders and health care workers.
The federal government officials also stressed that you should be very cautious about all of the disinformation on social media.
Early on the City of Olmsted Falls adopted policies and interventions to try to prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading to residents of our city. We believed that aggressive interventions must be put in place early to be most effective. Outcomes depend not just on the virus, but also on our policies, and on how soon we adopt them. Aggressive actions were taken such as cancellation of public gatherings and preparation of logistical support for first responders. These actions can make a big difference. We believe that early and aggressive social distancing can also substantially reduce the toll of this virus.
As I stated earlier in the week, as citizens of Olmsted Falls we are all in this together, and our community will get through this together. I would respectfully ask that you look out for your neighbors and be kind to each other, especially on social media. These are unique and difficult times, and we need to pull together to do what is right and safe for all of our residents.
Your public servant,
James Graven, Mayor
Cuyahoga County Coronavirus Hotline: 1-855-711-3035
March 16, 2020 - Update
Dear Olmsted Falls Residents:
I encourage all of our citizens to remain calm. As you are aware, we have been taking proactive steps to stay ahead of this problem. The public may notice some changes regarding non-essential services, although we will provide our citizens with all of the police, fire, and EMS services that they need. Out of an abundance of caution, City Hall will be closed to visitors effective at noon today. Staff will continue to answer all phone calls and emails. We do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Olmsted Falls. The best thing our residents can do is practice social distancing, good hygiene and stay calm. As Mayor and Safety Director my first priority is to keep you safe. Our fire and police departments have protocols in place to handle this problem if it reaches our city. We have already taken actions (ie., cancelling meetings, Mayor’s Court, closing the senior center, closing City Hall to the public) to try to prevent this problem from spreading into our city. I will continue to frequently give you updates.
Your public servant,
James Graven, Mayor
March 15, 2020 - Update
Governor Dewine has ordered all restaurants and bars to close effect 9 p.m. on Sunday. To view the full story please click the link below.
March 13, 2020 - Update
The City of Olmsted Falls continues to work closely with other federal, state and local partners to monitor and respond to the Coronavirus outbreak. The City has postponed today's St. Patrick's Day Senior Lunch at the Olmsted Community Center, and next week's Mayor's Court and Finance meeting. The City will continue working to reschedule these events to a later date to ensure the health and safety of Olmsted Falls residents. Also, our first responders are taking precautions to ensure that we assist with the mitigation of the spread of the virus as well as protect ourselves, while continuing to serve the public. We are being proactive by placing additional personal protective equipment (PPE) in every cruiser, detective car, and all first responder vehicles.
The Mayor has been in contact with Terry Allen from the Cuyahoga County Health Department to help monitor the situation. We are taking proactive responsible actions to prevent the spread of this virus. We are trying to be innovative in our actions to significantly reduce opportunities for transmission.
As of now, voting will still take place on Tuesday, March 17th. This is a unique time, and there will continue to be unique circumstances that arise. Lastly, I can assure you that the City Administration will continue to be proactive in taking all necessary measures to protect our citizens and keep you safe.
Your Public Servant, Mayor Graven
The Ohio Department of Health has a call center that will answer any questions or concerns that you may have. The call center is open from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Ohio Hotline - 1-833-4-ASKODH (1-833-427-5634)
Stop the Spread of Germs Flyer
CDC Fact Sheet
Cuyahoga County Board of Health COVID-19 Update
For more information please click on the CDC below.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 - CDC
The health, safety and welfare of our citizens remains the top priority of our city administration. The City of Olmsted Falls has been monitoring the coronavirus situation. Presently there are three confirmed cases in Ohio, and all are in Cuyahoga County. We have had meetings with fire, police, and county emergency management. The City has already taken the following actions:
- We are cleaning frequently all doorknobs and handles in city buildings;
- The City sent an email to all churches in our city strongly suggesting that they suspend the shaking of hands during the sign of peace and drinking from the same chalice;
- All First Responders will go through controlling the spread of infectious diseases training;
- Our firefighters have all of the safety gear such as face shields that they need;
- Our Police Department has re-stocked inventory of gloves and masks;
- All of our citizens should adhere to universal methods of protection, including washing hands frequently with soap and water, using alcohol-based sanitizer, avoid touching your face, and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
- We recommend that you stay at home if you are sick at least 24 hours un-medicated fever free;
- Our fire department is staying in frequent contact with county and state officials;
- Starting today, March 11, 2020, Cuyahoga County Emergency Operations Center will be partially activated from 7AM to 7PM.
- The city has also distributed flyers from the CDC – COVID 19 Stop the Spread of Germs Helpful Information.