No major changes to Hudson facilities after county placed in purple COVID-19 category
City Hall is open, but residents should make appointment to meet with staff
HUDSON — Summit County's placement into the purple designation on the state's COVID-19 map is not prompting any significant changes for city facilities.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began altering daily life in mid-March, city employees who can work remotely have been doing so, according to city spokesperson Jody Roberts.
"Originally, staff who can perform their jobs remotely were to continue to work from home through Jan. 1," said Roberts. "As of [Friday], remote work has been extended through the end of January, at which time we will review the COVID situation. Staff who can’t work remotely, such as public works, fire, police, EMS, continue to work on site with masks and social distancing."
Robert said city hall, 1140 Terex Road, is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If members of the public visit city hall, they need to be buzzed in at the front door by staff. Before the pandemic, Roberts said there were about 40 employees working at city hall. She noted the number of employees who are now in the building "varies by day and by department," but emphasized that services have not been affected by the lower number of workers in the building.
"All services are continuing and staff is able to continue to provide support remotely," said Roberts.
Although city hall is open, Roberts said residents are encouraged to make an appointment with the city staff member they wish to speak with before they come to the building.
Both the Barlow Community Center and the community rooms at City Hall have been closed since the first Stay at Home order was issued by the state in March, said Roberts, who added those facilities will remain closed.
"We continue to practice 'safe first' with all of our operations and services, and we will continue to provide those services to the community while focusing on the safety of our staff and our citizens," said Roberts.
EMS workers handling 'many' COVID-related calls
Hudson Fire/EMS Chief Jerry Varnes said his department has received "many calls in the last couple of weeks with both suspected and confirmed COVID patients."
Varnes added his employees treat all confirmed, suspected and at-risk patients "as if they have COVID and use all the recommended PPE for every patient."
The chief added that none of his department's procedures and protocols are changing due to Summit County now being in the purple designation.
Q & A for residents on Hudson City Hall operations
1. If a resident wants to speak with a city staff member, can they just go to city hall?
Residents are encouraged to call or email the staff member they want to speak with and schedule an appointment. If they go to city hall without an appointment, the employee they need to speak with may not be there. The main number for city hall is 330-650-1799.
2. How can a resident schedule an appointment with a city hall employee?
Residents should visit the city employee directory at https://www.hudson.oh.us/Directory.aspx to find the contact information for the employee they want to speak with. They can either make a phone call or send an email to the staff member that they want to meet with.
3. If a resident wants to come to city hall to pay a bill, can they do that without making an appointment?
4. If a resident wants to pay a bill online, how do they do that?
They can do so by visiting https://www.hudson.oh.us/173/Pay-Utilities-Online.
5. If a resident wants to apply for a permit online, how do they do that?
They can do so by visiting https://hudsonoh.viewpointcloud.com/
6. Are city council and other government boards and commissions having meetings in-person or virtually?
All of these meetings are taking place in a virtual format. Gov. Mike DeWine recently signed Ohio House Bill 404, which will allow government meetings to continue occurring virtually until July 1, 2021.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.