CIRCLEVILLE — The City of Circleville is now in a State of Emergency, following a declaration from Mayor Don McIlroy.
McIlroy issued the four-page order Thursday afternoon that outlines four orders for the City in the wake of the COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, pandemic. So far no cases have been confirmed in Pickaway County or the City.
Those orders including declaring the emergency, suspending all regulatory provisions to allow for the continued ability for the City to meet payroll, process insurance benefits and pay vendors, ordering departments and agencies to “take whatever steps necessary” to preserve public safety, provide all required and available assistance vital to security, well-being and health of residents, businesses and visitors. The order takes effect immediately until the emergency no longer exists from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.
McIlroy said the City will follow all orders outlined by DeWine in an effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the Mayor of the City of Circleville I have consulted with the city auditor, city council president, city law director, city HR director and the Pickaway County Municipal Court Judge, and all are in agreement that I now declare a State of Emergency in the City of Circleville,” McIlroy said.
McIlroy said services to the City will remain intact and there will be no interruption for the residents.
“The majority of this emergency is internal and for the safety of our employees,” he said.
McIlroy noted those that would be working during this time include the police department, fire department and those that are necessary for the water and sewer departments.
“They will all be work, police and fire will have no interruption of their service and still have three shifts,” McIlroy stated. “We’ll probably have a situation of some shifting of other departments. We’ll see some administrative staff go home and work from their home. We’ve asked all the employees that will be working from home to be prepared to come into work within an hour’s time.”
McIlroy said the executive order will allow people working from home to continue to earn their paychecks.
“We think this is the right thing to do, we value our employees and we know this is a difficult time,” he commented. “[The executive order] allows this to happen. There will be no interruption to their paychecks and we thought that was very important.”
McIlroy, who has served as mayor for nine years, has never before issued an emergency declaration as mayor.
“I’ve lived here for 27 years and I cannot remember, as a citizen, that we’ve been in this situation,” McIlroy stated.
McIlroy confirmed there have been no detected COVID-19 cases in Pickaway County, despite rumor and hearsay.
“I work very closely with the Health Department and I have heard of no cases in Pickaway County or the City of Circleville,” he added.
McIlory said they issued the emergency declaration because many employees work closely together, especially inside the court system.
“They work within six feet and we need to practice what everyone is talking about,” he continued. “We felt this is very important that we get this out today.”
McIlroy thanked the citizens for “their sacrifices made during this difficult time.”
“Your patience and understanding is welcomed by both your neighbors and your friends,” McIlroy expressed. “The citizens of Circleville have been outstanding. I haven’t heard too much of hoarding of goods and I think that’s great. I think the citizens have a real desire to help their neighbors.”
The Mayor offered some reassurance for the community with all the changes happening.
“I’m 74 years old and I’ve had the unfortunate opportunity to see a lot of strange things in my time,” the Mayor remarked. “We’ve had the Vietnam War, the Iraq War, 9/11. This country seems to come together. I think because of that this is something we will beat and life will get back to normal shortly. We’ve overcome these things in the past.
“We will get through this and life will get back to normal,” McIlroy concluded.