All Hilliard board and commission meetings, with the exception of council, planning and zoning and board of zoning appeals sessions, were canceled by the city Friday, March 13, through April 15 in reaction to Gov. Mike DeWine’s directives to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The meetings will be streamed live on social media at facebook.com/HilliardGov and the city website at hilliardoh.iqm2.com/citizens/default.aspx, said David Ball, director of communications for Hilliard.

Meanwhile, Mayor’s Court will be closed Wednesday, March 18, and March 25, according to Ball. Individuals with pending cases should contact the court via email at court@hilliardohio.gov or by calling 614-334-2361.

On April 1, Mayor’s Court will be held at the Municipal Building, 3800 Municipal Way, with staggered appearance times to limit the number of people appearing at each given time, Ball said.

The city had announced several other measures a day earlier, including the imminent closure of the Hilliard Community Center and the cancellation of programs at the Phyllis A. Ernst Senior Center.

“The city of Hilliard is making several significant changes to its operations in response to the developing coronavirus situation,” Ball said in a news release.

The Hilliard Community Center will close to the public effective Monday, March 16, for a three-week period, according to the city.

All associated classes and programs are canceled, Ball said.

That includes the tax-preparation assistance program at the Community Center, according to a news release from the city.

Effective at the end of the day March 13, all programs, trips and lunches at the Phyllis A. Ernst Senior Center are canceled until at least April 15, Ball said.

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@ThisWeekCorvo

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Hilliard city, school district leaders outline coronavirus-related closings

The closure of the Hilliard Community Center and the cancellation of programs at the Phyllis A. Ernst Senior Center are two of the steps Hilliard leaders announced Thursday, March 12, in reaction to Gov. Mike DeWine’s directives to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“The city of Hilliard is making several significant changes to its operations in response to the developing coronavirus situation,” David Ball, director of communications for Hilliard, said in a news release.

The Hilliard Community Center will close to the public effective Monday, March 16, for a three-week period, according to the city.

All associated classes and programs are canceled, Ball said.

Effective at the end of the day Friday, March 13, all programs, trips and lunches at the Phyllis A. Ernst Senior Center are canceled until at least April 15, Ball said.

“This action is being taken to promote the safety of our seniors who are an at-risk group for coronavirus,” he said.

The Hilliard Division of Police will cancel all public activities, appearances, programs and ridealongs, beginning March 13 and continuing through April 4.

Nonessential meetings in the community rooms at the Joint Safety Services Building on Northwest Parkway are postponed until at least March 31.

“The city will monitor this situation as it develops and may adjust the length of these closures accordingly,” Ball said.

These steps align with the social-distancing recommendations made by state leaders and local health departments.

City Manager Michelle Crandall said the municipal government has “a responsibility to continue serving our community to the fullest extent possible” but must “also take steps to mitigate risk to our community and our staff, particularly those who are at risk, such as older adults and those with health conditions.”

In addition to these measures, city leaders are developing a contingency plan to determine what personnel can fulfill job duties remotely, and police and fire personnel are implementing protocols to ensure first responders are in the best position to serve the community, Ball said.

Hilliard police officers have been issued kits containing gloves, masks and goggles in the event an officer comes in contact with individuals who might have coronavirus, but they will not wear the masks as a routine matter, Chief Robert Fisher said.

The city has created a link to report the latest updates at hilliardohio.gov/coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the Hilliard City Schools will be closed for students Monday, March 16, through April 3, the district announced March 12.

All staff members will report to school buildings March 16 for a professional-learning day.

All athletics and extracurricular activities, beginning Friday, March 13, are canceled until April 3 when district leaders will reevaluate the situation.

“We are facing an unprecedented challenge in public education,” Superintendent John Marschhausen said via email. “We will follow the governor’s recommendations to close our buildings for three weeks.”

Marschhausen said the district is preparing to deliver eLearning activities for students in grades K to 12.

“We can never replace the work our teachers do with students in our classrooms,” he said. “No one expects eLearning to be as effective as what we do day-to-day in our classes.”

But it is an option to “keep the learning going” during a public-health emergency, Marschhausen said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo