Macedonia closes city hall for a day due to COVID-19

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
Macedonia City Hall was closed Friday for deep cleaning after several positive cases of COVID-19 were identified.

The city of Macedonia closed its administrative offices last Friday “due to an unprecedented influx of COVID-19 cases within city hall,” according to a notice posted on the city website by Mayor Nick Molnar.

“This single-day closure will enhance those efforts by allowing for a deep sanitization of all administrative offices and thereby increase the safety of the city’s employees,” according to the notice posted on the city’s website. “In turn, the sanitization will assist in stopping or slowing the spread of COVID-19 within the building and preserve long-term services to residents.”

The building was reopened to staff Monday; city hall has been closed to visitors since mid-March due to the pandemic.

Molnar said he could not comment on how many positive COVID-19 cases there have been reported at the city hall due to HIPAA regulations.

"There was a potential case that would have infected the administrative area," Molnar said. "We hired a company to come in and disinfect the entire administration area.".

On Thursday, Summit County was placed at level 4, or purple, by the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. Several other Ohio counties also were placed at level 4, the highest rating in the system, including Portage, Stark and Medina. According to information from Gov. Mike DeWine's office on Friday, there are 456,963 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in the state, and 6,882 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 28,673 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,847 admissions to intensive care units. 

Molnar said that the city had a plan in place in case the county did reach Level 4, which includes greater social distancing within the city hall, having more people working from home, and isolating the safety forces as much as possible.

 In a Dec. 2 Facebook post on the city’s social media, the city’s service department is short staffed.

“Just want to take a moment to thank our service team for their hard work with the snow storm,” the post stated. “We are currently down half, yes, I said half of our team. All hands were on deck including Director [John] Hnottavange, Supervisor ]Stephen]  Dzurnak and every other available set of hands.”

Molnar said he could not comment on whether staff was down because of COVID-19 due to HIPAA regulations; however, a Nov. 30 post,on Facebook regarding the city’s preparation for the Dec.1 and 2 snowstorm stated that “COVID-19 has caused us some difficulties.”

Jesse Nehez, Northfield Village mayor, could not be reached for comment. However, according to information from the village, the Northfield Village offices have been closed to the public since mid-March.

Northfield Center Township Hall also has been closed to the public since mid-March, said Helen Humphrys, township administrator.

Meetings also will continue to be conducted virtually, said Richard H. Reville, the chair of the trustees.

“The board will continue to follow Summit County Public Health’s guidelines and urge all residents to stay at home during the county advisory, wear masks when in public and refrain from any unnecessary gatherings or travel,” Reville said.

John Zaccardelli, the chair of the Sagamore Hills township trustees, said the township “will maintain the status quo for the time being.”

“We have been following the guidelines since the very beginning,” Zaccardelli said. “If anything changes, if Summit County Public Health makes changes, we will review it.”

He added that employees at the township hall were separated, and that there was “not a lot of activity at our building right now because of the pandemic, it’s been pretty quiet.”

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com