The City of Solon continues to take the lead from health professionals when it comes to the ever-changing climate due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Edward H. Kraus said this week.
“Every day we are monitoring,” he said. “We are obviously proceeding with caution.”
Effective on March 14, the Solon Community Center, Solon Senior Center and Solon Center of the Arts closed. Mayor Kraus said he is making a determination this week about City Hall.
As of Tuesday, City Hall and the Solon Service Department remained open. The city’s water reclamation plant has closed until further notice.
This week and until further notice, the service department will no longer be accepting residential drop off at the department on Cochran Road and will also suspend the city’s compost and mulch sales.
Automated rubbish will continue without disruption, but all rubbish must be placed into the rubbish can, officials said. No additional rubbish can be outside of carts and large amounts of construction debris will not be picked up.
Future changes will be made as COVID-19 continues to impact the city, county and state, the mayor said.
“We take all the health professionals to make a determination how to proceed,” Mayor Kraus said. “It’s a fluid situation.”
Mayor Kraus said it is a coordinated effort among the city officials and Solon schools.
“We want to make sure we are proactive with our public buildings,” he said. “Those are critical touch points.
“The situation is probably going to change every day,” Mayor Kraus continued. “I don’t want to panic but you need to be smart and proactive. If it’s a large gathering, I’m going to cancel it.”
On Monday, Solon’s Council meeting was closed to the public in light of the crisis.
“We take seriously the Open Meetings Act,” Law Director Thomas G. Lobe said, “and will make some changes based only upon and until the state of emergency has changed.”
Mayor Kraus said he is currently working with the Information Technology Department to allow residents to chime in with questions and concerns during a meeting as part of an online component on the city’s website.
“At least in the spirit of public meetings, we will be utilizing some technology such as Zoom to try to stream it to the fullest extent we can and to allow participation,” Mr. Lobe said. “We ask that residents submit their questions and concerns in writing in advance.”
“We are living in unprecedented times,” Councilman Marc R. Kotora said.
Mayor Kraus said, “We are all in this together.”
He said the community center staff is already looking for ways to provide services on line, such as yoga classes. On a daily basis, the city checks with its senior population, he said, to make sure they are safe.
Although the building may be closed, the Department of Senior Services has not ceased providing essential services to the most vulnerable population, Senior Center Director Jill Frankel said.
“Instead, we are increasing our outreach check-ins to those who participate in our regular senior center activities, our Community Supportive Living programming participants as well as seniors in the city who are not presently utilizing our services,” she said.
Last week, the center contacted residents who utilize their transportation services for shopping to ensure they had a planned and booked a trip to obtain recommended items to manage through the beginning of the social distancing period.
“We have now moved on to long term planning in assisting those who cannot leave their home to obtain needed groceries and supplies,” Ms. Frankel said. “In addition to our concerns about making sure that basic needs are met, we are also concerned about the effects of social isolation and have plans to assist in combating feelings of isolation as well.”
“It’s a whole effort,” Mayor Kraus said. “We will over communicate as much as we can to our businesses and our residents.
“We will make sure the public and our employees are secure and have a safe environment.
“It’s a marathon,” Mayor Kraus said. “This is no sprint.”
Fire Chief William J. Shaw said, “Obviously life is different.
“(But) this is a time we need to keep calm,” he said. People are hoarding cases of water, but this pandemic has not resulted in a compromised water system. It is the same with people buying toilet paper, he said. But this is not a gastrointestinal flu.
“There is no reason to go out and strip the shelves and hoard things,” Chief Shaw said. “People like to focus on what we can’t do, but I would suggest (looking at how to) normalize your life with the confines you have.
“We can, as a community, get through this,” Chief Shaw said.