Corona Virus Update


May 4, 2020

The City has received the following information regarding the Stay Safe Ohio Order that may answer some questions some of you may have.  Please click on the following link to read. 
COVID-19 FAQs - Stay Safe Ohio Order


April 28th COVID-19 Update:

Good Afternoon:

We are facing an unprecedented global health threat that is no longer just a health issue, it is also an economic issue. I feel bad for our residents that are now unemployed, and also for our business owners that were forced to close. Many of our citizens feel the anxiety of a reduced income. I hope that all of our residents can once again provide for their families very soon.

This is also a very challenging financial situation for our city. Specifically, regarding our city’s financial predicament, we received a memo from RITA (Regional Income Tax Agency) explaining the projected loss of tax revenue at $282,000 for all of 2020. I decided that our city needed to take early and decisive actions to protect our budget.  I will be taking a 10% pay cut and also our directors and chiefs will be receiving a 10% pay cut. We will be furloughing non-union employees for 16 hours per month. We have temporary layoffs of our economic development consultant, a senior center administrator, a community officer, and a part time inspector. There are approximately 15 people affected.  This will save approximately $7,000 per month or $50,000 for the year. We are also working on some projects that will help to increase our revenues and offset the decrease in income tax revenue. No fire, police, or service department employees are affected. I am trying to be prudent in the way our city handles the COVID-19 crisis – both financially and from a public safety standpoint. We are trying to use a data driven response.  This was not an easy decision, although this was the fiscally responsible thing to do. I have evaluated the current and future impact of this crisis on city staff, operations, and finances as we continue to provide core services such as police and fire protection to our citizens.  We are hoping that as the situation improves, we can get back to normal soon.  This is a very difficult situation, and the next few months will be very challenging for everyone.

I wish you all good health as we continue to manage our city operations to serve you.

Respectfully,

James P. Graven, Mayor


April 21st COVID-19 Update:

I received a letter from Ohio Representative Tom Patton.  He understands that this pandemic has created many questions, and lots of uncertainty. Ohioans must be safe and healthy from not only the coronavirus, but also from the negative impacts on our economy. Unfortunately, businesses and employees across the state have faced huge challenges.

Representative Patton believes it is crucial to also focus on a solution for reopening Ohio’s economy. Recently, the Ohio House created the new Ohio 2020 Economic Recovery Task Force. The task force is seeking input from our local small business owners. We encourage small businesses from across this district to make a submission to: 
Ohio 2020@ohiohouse.gov with the following details:

(1)  Name and location
(2)  Number of employees;
(3)  Contact information;
(4)  Description of your business.

The task force may invite some of you to speak at one of their virtual meetings.

If you have any further questions, please send an email to Tom Patton at Rep07@ohiohouse.gov.

Respectfully,

James P. Graven, Mayor


April 17th COVID-19 Update:

Good Afternoon:  Yesterday, Governor DeWine announced that the process of returning the citizens of Ohio back to work and community life will begin on May 1st.  While we do not know the specifics regarding Ohio’s plan, we do understand that it is important to address this return in a gradual and cautious manner.

Cuyahoga County announced the launch of the Small Business Stabilization Fund. The county committed $500,000 to the creation of this Fund to support small, neighborhood-based businesses through grants and loans. The Small Business Resource Center is taking calls from business owners about options available to them at 216-452-9714.

We thank our first responders for the work that they do every day. They are wearing the appropriate PPE, and are carrying out their duties in a professional manner. We support our firefighters and police officers, and the city administration wants our citizens to know that they are prepared to protect and serve you.

Please continue the great job you are doing by staying home and practicing social distancing.  The Southwest Hospital administration has told us that social distancing is working. The citizens of Olmsted Falls are working very hard at following social distancing and stay at home orders. Our residents responded quickly and thoroughly to directions from our city and state. I want to thank our residents for carefully washing their hands, cleaning high touch areas, avoiding the workplace, and staying home. Those measures now appear to be paying off by slowing the spread of the virus. Please stay safe.

Your public servant,

James P. Graven, Mayor


 

April 9th Update: 

This week I participated in conference calls with U. S. Senator Sherrod Brown and U.S. Congressman Anthony Gonzalez.  Sen. Brown stated that he believes Governor DeWine’s early aggressive actions saved lives. Regarding unemployment benefits, the Senator said that part time workers making less than $269 per week will still be covered.

Congressman Gonzalez stated that FEMA and the administration are working hard to obtain more PPE and ventilators. Unfortunately, the states are competing with FEMA for PPE.  Governor DeWine said that the personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage in Ohio remains severe. (Please note that the City of Olmsted Falls is prepared and our first responders have plenty of PPE).

Congressman Gonzalez also talked about federal stimulus money to help with the coronavirus impact. He said that Ohio will receive $4.5 billion of the federal stimulus package that includes $150 billion for states, territories, local and tribal governments. 45% of the total appropriated to each state is reserved for local governments overseeing populations exceeding 500,000. Unfortunately, small and mid-sized cities will not get direct access to those funds. I have talked to our State Representative and Congressman, and have asked them to try to provide direct access to these funds for small cities. Congressman Gonzalez said that he hopes that the next round of legislation will include funds to help smaller cities.

We are fortunate that our city and state have taken fast action to keep our citizens safe. As you are aware, our city took action early on to recommend social distancing and stay at home initiatives. I know that this is not easy, but we have a small window to ensure that our community does not suffer the same fate as some other areas in our country.  Physical or social distancing matters. It is critical to curbing the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have any questions, then please email or call me. Thank you for staying home and staying safe.

Sincerely,
James P. Graven, Mayor


 

April 6th Update:

On Friday I participated in a conference call with Governor Dewine and other Ohio Mayors.  Governor Dewine stated that we are continuing to do a pretty good job of keeping down social contact. The Ohio State University models are not clear on when we will hit our peak, and it may be a few more weeks or later.

Governor Dewine also stated that Ohio still does not have widespread testing at a high level. We are also building out hospital capacity, and the Ohio National Guard is helping with that. Ohio is continuing to get more PPE for healthcare workers and first responders.

 The Lt. Governor stated that 37 states have stay at home orders, and you can see the difference when you have early intervention. The state is trying to strike a proper balance between sound health and economic decisions.

I will continue to update our citizens whenever I receive new information from federal, state, and health authorities.  The citizens of Olmsted Falls are doing a good job following our Stay at Home Initiative and social distancing guidelines. Thank you for your cooperation.

Stay safe,
James P. Graven, Mayor


April 2nd Update from Mayor Graven and Police Chief Rogers:

Mayor Graven:
I participated in the White House COVID-19 briefing call with Dr. Anthony Fauci yesterday.  Dr. Fauci stated that “we are in a very serious situation.” He said “that over the next few weeks virus issues will get worse before they get better.” The doctor also stated that mitigation actions that were put in place last month helped to modify the scope of the curve. Dr. Fauci stated that “even with mitigation we could have over 100,000 deaths. Although it is within our power to mitigate this.”

In closing, please continue to adhere to these guidelines. The next few weeks are critical.  From the beginning, our city has been taking the strongest steps to counter the outbreak. All along I have based my decisions on science and guidance from health, fire department and EMS experts, erring on the side of being too aggressive in the pursuit of saving lives. Please continue to stay home and stay safe.

Your Public Servant,
James P. Graven, Mayor

 

Chief Rogers:
As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 global pandemic, mandated procedures have been put in place to attempt to keep us and the community that we serve as safe and healthy as possible.  This Divisional Notice explains how we handle calls for service and patrol during this pandemic. 

Calls for Service:
1.         Whenever police officers are dispatched to a call for service, the dispatcher will ask a series of questions regarding COVID-19, particularly questions in reference to the caller or anyone with them being symptomatic or testing positive for COVID-19.
2.         If any of the above questions are answered in the affirmative, the dispatcher will advise responding units with “Meets Criteria”.  This will also be documented in the narrative of the CAD call and sent to your MDT.  The dispatcher will attempt to get the caller to meet police officers at the door of the residence/business.  Know that not all callers will be cooperative with the dispatchers effort to get this information to you.  Keep this in mind!
3.         When responding to any call that involves someone who is symptomatic or has tested positive for COVID-19, officers MUST wear goggles, gloves and N95 mask to the call, regardless of whether it is indoors or outdoors.

4.         When responding to any call of any nature that is INDOORS (residential, business, etc.), all officers MUST wear goggles, gloves and N95 mask to the extent that is practicable.  It is understood that on some emergency calls for service, officers may not have the time or ability to put the required personal protective equipment (PPE) on. 
5.         Any officer may, if time and circumstance allow, put on PPE on any call, whether indoor or outdoor, if they so choose. 
Patrolling
1.         While on patrol and in a cruiser, officers are not required to wear PPE.

2.         Any time that an officer is interacting with the public outside of their cruiser, it is recommended, at this time, that they wear PPE.              
Stay safe, stay healthy and continue to practice good health habits and hygiene. 

Chief Odis B. Rogers

 


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.

 

Stay safe,
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 businesshelp@development.ohio.gov 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. 
 
Please continue to do the great job you have been doing.  Stay safe and stay home.
 
Your Public Servant,
James P. Graven, Mayor 


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


Dear Residents:

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:

  1. Patients with symptoms
  2. Elderly People
  3. 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.

Full Story 
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:

  1. We are cleaning frequently all doorknobs and handles in city buildings;
  2. 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;
  3. All First Responders will go through controlling the spread of infectious diseases training;
  4. Our firefighters have all of the safety gear such as face shields that they need;
  5. Our Police Department has re-stocked inventory of gloves and masks;
  6. 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;
  7. We recommend that you stay at home if you are sick at least 24 hours un-medicated fever free;
  8. Our fire department is staying in frequent contact with county and state officials;
  9. Starting today, March 11, 2020, Cuyahoga County Emergency Operations Center will be partially activated from 7AM to 7PM.
  10. The city has also distributed flyers from the CDC – COVID 19 Stop the Spread of Germs Helpful Information.

 Mayor Graven