Threat of virus hits state agencies, including ODNR
The threat of an outbreak of the coronavirus is having consequences that are only now beginning to ripple through government matters.
In Ohio, postponed is Wednesday’s (March 11) Lake Erie Commission’s quarterly meeting. That was set for the University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center.
Also on the hit list is next Wednesday’s (March 18) Ohio Wildlife Council meeting. This meeting is one of several regularly schedule hearings performed by the eight-member council.
Unknown is a call for any delays regarding the by-statute requirements for game law hearings that include those for deer, waterfowl, and upland game.
“As we receive updated guidance from public health officials, we will be reviewing all meetings and events on a case-by-case basis. We will pass information along to the public as it is available,” said Sarah Wickham, the Ohio DNR’s communications chief.
Asked about whether any parks, cabins, state park lodges, campgrounds, nature centers, or the Magee Marsh Visitors Center are closed, Wickham said not at this time.
Already canceled are maple syrup festival events for this weekend (March 15 and 16) at Malibar Farm, Hueston Woods, and Indian Lake state parks.
“This situation is evolving quickly, but as of right now all ODNR properties are open and operating as usual,” Wickham said. “We are closely monitoring the situation and will make any changes that the conditions warrant. We will update the media and the public should any of our properties close unexpectedly.”
All of which is in keeping with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s response to the ongoing coronavirus – officially designated as “COVID-19” – situation, and who has imposed travel restrictions on state employees of state agencies, boards, and commissions.