Worthington city and school district officials say they are canceling many activities because of concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus spreading.
“City programs and events are being evaluated and more cancellations are likely,” according to a statement on worthington.org. “These decisions are not easy and we know they impact a lot of Worthington families.
“Our community partners have the full support of the city as they face these difficult decisions. These extreme steps will help reduce the risk and spread of the disease. We know the impacts these closings and cancellations have on your everyday life and ask for your cooperation and understanding.”
However, no Worthington polling locations have changed for the Tuesday, March 17, primary, according to worthington.org.
The following events have been canceled or postponed, according to the city website:
* March 14 -- Worthington Farmers Market and Worthington Schools Pancake Day
* March 18 -- Worthington International Friendship Association's “About Sister City Sayama, Japan” (postponed, not yet rescheduled)
* March 24 -- Slice of Worthington and Worthington Interfaith Neighbors Sharing Our Stories
In addition, beginning Monday, March 16, the Worthington Community Center and Griswold Center will be closed and all programs canceled.
However, the Community Center business office will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
A full list of cancellations is available at worthington.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=889.
The Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center of Worthington is suspending all scheduled public events until April 5. The galleries will remain open for visitors during regular business hours, according to a news release from the organization.
Patrons have multiple options if they purchased tickets for events through April 5, the release said. They may:
* Exchange tickets for a later concert or performance.
* Exchange tickets for a gift certificate, which can be used any time.
* Donate tickets and receive a tax deduction for the ticket value.
* Receive a refund for the value of the tickets.
Ticket holders will be contacted via email, the release said.
All MAC events scheduled after April 5 will move forward as planned, the release said.
Several schools events are being canceled, too.
For example, at McCord Middle School, band, choir and orchestra concerts through March 31 have been canceled, as well as an orchestra field trip, an activities fair and a parent meeting, according to a district email to parents.
Worthington Libraries officials also are canceling programs, though the libraries themselves originally weren't scheduled to close, according to a statement from the library system.
“While our libraries currently remain open, we are canceling all library events, programs – including storytimes – classes, book-discussion groups and public-meeting-room reservations beginning Friday, March 13, through at least April 3,” the statement said. “Homework Help Centers will also be closed.”
“While the libraries remain open, we ask that patrons exercise caution when visiting. Please do not use our libraries in person if you are sick or at high risk of contracting the virus. This will help everyone in our community remain healthy. There are many ways for you to access library services and resources, including books, magazines and movies, from home.”
However, as of March 13, that changed, with the library system deciding to close its doors at the end of the day until early April.
Check ThisWeekNEWS.com/Worthington for updates.