County Commissioners Declare State of Emergency

The Delaware County Board of Commissioners have declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and adopted a Temporary COVID-19 Emergency Operations Plan, which became effective at 8 a.m., Friday, March 20, and continues through April 5. This administrative act enables the county to exercise certain powers not permitted during normal circumstances.

“We had already taken many proactive measures to limit the exposure of our employees and the public to this virus,” said County Administrator Michael Frommer, “and we were pleased to see a more than an 80 percent reduction in the number of daily visitors to our Courthouse from the beginning of March and a 60 percent reduction in visitors to the Hayes Administrative Building, but now we need to do more.”

Frommer said that taking these additional steps, which include restricting public access to all county government buildings except the Courthouse and having non-required Delaware County government-employed personnel work from home, will further the county’s goal of helping to “flatten the curve” of the virus’s spread in Delaware County’s 217,000-resident population. The county’s judges have authority over the Courthouse. As of Thursday, March 19, the Delaware General Health District has announced there have been two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county, both travel-related.

“We have been steadfast in our goal of protecting our employees and the public while maintaining essential county function,” Frommer added. “And the sooner we can slow down the spread of this disease, the sooner we can get all our lives back to normal.”

Among the changes to current operations that were authorized by the Commissioners include:

  • Cancellation of Commissioner sessions on March 23, March 30. The next sessions will be held March 26, April 2 and April 13. Sessions on April 6 and April 9 had been cancelled previously.
  • Removal of public comment from session agendas. Because public access to the Commissioners’ Building will be restricted, the public is encouraged to instead watch sessions on the county’s livestream transmission online at https://co.delaware.oh.us/media-room/video/. Public comments can be submitted via email, mail or phone. For contact information, go to: https://co.delaware.oh.us/commissioners/.

A COUNTY GOVERNMENT STATE OF EMERGENCY IS…

  • an executive action that has to be passed by a county’s commissioners in order to qualify for state and federal resources like grants, equipment and supplies that might be needed.
  • an administrative tool that allows a local government to streamline its operations temporarily. Instead of it taking a week or two to get approval for large purchases, we can do it much faster.
  • a necessary step that gives a local government the legal permission to allow certain classes of its employees to work from home.

A COUNTY GOVERNMENT STATE OF EMERGENCY IS NOT…

  • a martial-law order that forces everyone to stay home.
  • an order that means any other organization, business or jurisdiction’s employees have to stay home from work.
  • like a snow emergency AT. ALL.

Finally, a county government’s State of Emergency does not mean that we have ceased to provide services to you. Our offices and departments are still in operation, but we are utilizing all kinds of communications tools to make it possible to serve you:  phone, email, mail, fax, Skype/Zoom, dropboxes. And, of course, our people who have to be hands-on to do their jobs — our 9-1-1 dispatchers, our EMS paramedics, our Sheriff’s deputies, our sewer-plant operators — are still hands-on and doing their jobs.


Essential Functions and Staffing Plans:

For the Auditor’s Office, click here.

For the Clerk of Courts, click here.

For the Commissioners’ Office and the departments that report to the Commissioners, click here.

For the Coroner’s Office, click here.

For the Engineer’s Office, click here.