Mayor Kathy Huner on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for the City of Wauseon, to take effect immediately.
The emergency proclamation states it has been declared “to protect the well-being of the citizens of Wauseon from the dangerous effects of COVID-19, and to justify implementation, if necessary, of the measures set forth under Codified Ordinance 509.08…and shall remain in full force and effect until the issuance of a proclamation determining an emergency no longer exists, or the State of Ohio terminates the state-wide state of emergency, whichever shall occur first.”
In the proclamation, Huner states COVID-19 “constitutes a natural disaster and clear and present danger to the Citizens of the City of Wauseon.”
On Monday, Wauseon City Council approved a motion to support Huner should she decide to declare a state of emergency.
The proclamation is in response to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s executive order declaring a state of emergency; to the Ohio Department of Health’s report of 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state; and to a committee within the World Health Organization declaring the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
“It’s just a precaution,” Huner said Tuesday. “With the governor coming in on a daily basis with mandates being passed forward…I want Council to be aware of what’s happening.”
She said the state of emergency allows the city to quickly adopt constant changes to the state’s mandates concerning coronavirus without waiting to convene City Council in order to legislate those rules before they’re placed in effect.
“They need to be made immediately,” Huner said of the mandates. “We have to be diligent on safety, and some decisions have to be made. We need to make sure we are in compliance, and that we’re doing everything we can ensure the public’s health and welfare concerning the coronavirus.”
The city has already taken action by closing the city’s municipal building to the public and requiring city employees who have traveled 100 miles or more beyond Wauseon or into coronavirus hotspots since March 11 to self-quarantine for two weeks.
At Monday’s City Council meeting, Council members and visitors were required to adopt the state’s suggestion of keeping six feet apart from one another.