Mayor Ginther declares State of Emergency for Columbus

(WBNS)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther signed a declaration for a State of Emergency for the city.

In a video message, Ginther said he can suspend their purchasing and contracting requirements and can enter into contracts for whatever supplies or services are necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of Columbus residents.

He can also suspend all regulatory provisions of the Columbus city code as necessary to allow for the city to continue to meet payroll, process insurance benefits and pay vendors during the time of the emergency.

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This finally allows him to require city employees to remain at home to protect their health and the health of residents.

You can read a letter from Ginther 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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