BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — As cities across the country take unprecedented steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus, Maumee Mayor Richard Carr laid out plans that the city will implement in response to the health crisis.
He, along with city administrator Patrick Burtch and other officials, has been meeting with Maumee City Schools officials, members of Maumee Churches United and the staff of the Maumee Senior Center to address the needs of residents.
“We have had a very busy week and everything is changing on a daily basis,” Carr said at the March 16 city council meeting. “There’s no need to panic, we just need to do as much as we can to come together and support each other.”
All city offices will be closed to the public until further notice, he said.
“At this time, we intend to have all of our employees work, but again, that will be fluid on a day-to-day basis,” Carr said.
Schools in Ohio have been ordered closed as Americans, especially elderly residents, are asked to stay home. Others have been advised to reduce social contact with gatherings of no more than 10 people. In addition, several businesses, including bars and restaurants, have been ordered closed or are only allowed to fill carryout orders.
“It’s going to put a burden on a lot of our residents and businesses, and as those businesses tell their employees that they can’t come to work, it’s going to put a lot of stress on some families in our community,” Carr said.
Maumee City Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Cramer said that extensive steps were made to prepare parents and students for the closure.
“We don’t want people to be caught off guard,” he said.
District buildings closed at the end of the school day on March 13, with teachers implementing modified teaching instruction online.
In a message to parents, Cramer encouraged patience.
“Each teacher will be working to do their best to accommodate their classes,” he wrote.
While it remains unclear when classes will resume, Maumee council president Tim Pauken said that some state officials have indicated that school may not resume this year.
Free Childcare, Meals Being Provided
Maumee Churches United has stepped in to offer free childcare at multiple sites for those parents with no access to it during the crisis. The service will be provided while the schools are closed, Carr said.
Maumee City Schools will also provide free breakfast and lunch to all children in need, which will be delivered to the churches providing free daycare along with other pickup sites.
“We want to make sure that every child in this community gets a breakfast and a lunch because there are some out there that may not if we don’t make sure that they do,” Carr said.
Volunteers are needed to distribute the food and those interested in volunteering or those in need of food or childcare services are asked to call (419) 720-3285.
Beginning on March 18, Grab and Go breakfast and lunch will be distributed at the following locations:
• Maumee High School: 7:00 to 11:00 a.m., 1147 Saco St.
• All Saints Church: 8:00 to 9:30 a.m., 5445 Heatherdowns Blvd.
• Saint Patrick’s of Heather-downs Community Center: 8:00 to 9:30 a.m., 4201 Heatherdowns Blvd.
• Monclova Park across from St. Luke’s Hospital: 10:00 to 10:30 a.m.
• First Presbyterian Church: 8:00 to 9:30 a.m., 200 E. Broadway St.
Maumee Police Division Offers Help To Elderly
The Maumee Police Division will expand services for senior residents by checking with them daily to make sure they are OK, especially those seniors with no family living nearby to assist them. Volunteers will also be needed to run errands for those elderly who are homebound during this time, Carr said.
During coronavirus-mandated closings, any senior citizen or person homebound due to medical conditions in need of assistance should contact senior resource officer Wendy Newsome at (419) 897-7027 or victim service officer Cory Henson at (419) 897-7017.
Boy Scout Food Drive Supports Those In Need
Boy Scout and Cub Scout Troop and Packs 103, 104 and 199 have partnered with Maumee Churches United to collect nonperishable items for those in need. Items being collected include personal hygiene products and nonperishable goods and spices that have not expired.
The food drive will take place on Tuesday, March 24 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the following locations:
• St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 112 E. Wayne St.
• St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 310 Elizabeth St.
• St. Joseph Catholic Church, 108 W. Broadway St.
• First Presbyterian Church, 200 E. Broadway St.
• Cornerstone Church, 1520 S. Reynolds Rd.
• Maumee United Methodist Church, 405 Sackett St.
• South gate entrance of Lucas County Fairgrounds, 1406 Key St.
Maumee Court Adapts To Crisis
Maumee Municipal Court Judge Dan Hazard has implemented new guidelines to limit the number of people appearing in court. He has advised using audiovisual devices and technologies for actions and proceedings and has encouraged attorneys to pre-try cases by telephone with the prosecutor’s office.
In addition, a defendant’s personal appearance for non-violent offenses has been waived.
Maumee Senior Center Collects Needed Items
On March 16, the Maumee Senior Center closed over concerns of the coronavirus spread.
“The senior population is most vulnerable to contract serious complications from the coronavirus. The Maumee Senior Center will be working to provide as many services as possible to our seniors to ensure their safety,” said Malinda Ruble, executive director of the Maumee Senior Center.
The center is seeking donations for seniors and is in need of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, liquid hand soap, disinfectant wipes and shelf-stable food items such as canned soups, non-refrigerated microwavable meals and boxes of macaroni and cheese.
Donations may be dropped off at the door of the Maumee Senior Center, which is located at 2430 S. Detroit Ave. Staff from the Maumee Senior Center will then deliver the items to seniors in need.
Although the Maumee Senior Center building is closed to the public, home-delivered meals, medical transportation, medical equipment, wellness checks and assistance with personal, medical and grocery items is still being provided.
To request assistance, please call (419) 893-1994 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Library Branches Close To The Public
On March 14, the Toledo Lucas County Public Library system closed its branches indefinitely.
Checked-out materials may be returned when the branches reopen. In addition, the entire online e-media collection including e-books, audiobooks and streaming movies, music and television shows will still be available for use with a library card.
According to the CDC, it may be possible that a person can get coronavirus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. As a result, the library is taking every precaution to keep all materials and surfaces safe when the library opens again.
Maumee branch manager Allison Fiscus said that the decision to close falls in line with the school closure.
“At the end of the day, if schools are closed, the library is another place people gather, so if we are not counting that in our decision-making, we become part of the problem,” Fiscus said. “We also have to consider the safety of staff. We all love our books and we are going to do everything we can to keep everybody healthy so that we can get back to normal as soon as possible.”