Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther issued a state of emergency today, March 18, outlining the steps the city is taking regarding the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The news release is below:

A few moments ago, I signed a declaration of a State of Emergency for the City of Columbus drafted by City Attorney Zach Klein with the guidance and counsel of City Council President Shannon Hardin and City Auditor Megan Kilgore. This is necessary both for the city to continue to operate and for the protection of our employees and, ultimately, our residents.

74% of our employees work on the frontline: police, fire, public health nurses, utility plant operators, refuse collectors, just to name a few. They will continue to work, and the critical city services delivered by these dedicated men and women will continue.

Starting today, the city’s remaining full-time workforce – approximately 1,300 people – have been asked to remain at home. Many will be able to work remotely.

All full-time city employees will continue to be paid. Part-time employees will be paid for hours they work.

There is no doubt that this is a difficult time. We have little in history to compare it to.

But I believe in this city and the resiliency of its residents.

We can – and will – get through this together.

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