Coronavirus Update: Salons, BMVs, National Guard, Parking Rules
Keep up with regular news updates regarding Columbus and Ohio’s response to COVID-19 here.
On Wednesday, March 18 it was announced that Franklin County had seven confirmed cases of COVID-19, including a two-year-old child, as reported by the Columbus Dispatch.
Other announcements from Governor Mike DeWine in Wednesday’s press conference include the closure of BMVs, as well as salons, spas and the like, and a response to rumors about the Ohio National Guard being activated.
BMVs and Salons
Regarding the closure of over 180 BMV locations, the Ohio State Highway Patrol will not issue tickets for expired licenses during this time, and Gov. DeWine is recommending other Ohio law enforcement agencies to do the same.
Five locations will remain open to provide the issuance of CDLs or the renewal of CDLs, including two in Central Ohio: a location at 4503 Kenny Rd. and a driver exam station at 4738 Cemetery Rd. Ohioans can still renew their vehicle registrations by mail or online. More information can be found on the BMVs website.
Along with salons and spas, barbershops, nail salons and tattoo parlors are included in the latest round of closures as well.
Local State of Emergency
Wednesday also saw Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther officially sign a declaration of a State of Emergency for the City of Columbus, which was discussed as a possibility last Friday. This allows all nonessential city employees — approximately 1,300 people — to remain at home, with some working remotely. All full-time city employees will continue to be paid and part-time employees will be paid for hours they work, according to a press release.
The topic of the Ohio National Guard came up for the second day in a row, and Governor DeWine tried to dispel rumors. He said that if the guard would be activated the public would be made aware. He added that the guard would be helping hospitals, medical facilities, food banks and like organizations across the state.
The City of Columbus is suspending enforcement of the 72-hour parking rule, which requires vehicles to be moved after being parked in the same location for 72 hours.
The suspension will allow “residents to stay in their homes as much as possible for their health and safety,” said Division of Parking Services Assistant Director Robert Ferrin.
Also, some meters on High Street in the Short North will be temporarily converted to 30 minutes, allowing for brief pick-up and drop-off at restaurants and other businesses. All other parking rules currently remain in effect.
On Tuesday, March 17, Governor DeWine signed an order to establish temporary pandemic child care licenses to ensure communities have access to child care. The order allows the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to provide child care to parents who work in health care, safety and essential service industries.
These new, temporary pandemic child care centers will operate under reduced regulations. Pandemic child care center licenses could be granted to already existing child care centers or new child care centers that may be created in response to community needs.
“It is important that professionals who are essential to protecting the public, are able to ensure their families have safe places to go while they are at work,” said DeWine. “Helping to address this need, allows our health and safety providers to focus on protecting and caring for all Ohioans.”
In a question and answer period during Wednesday’s press conference, DeWine said daycares were among the places that they would look to eventually close. However, so far DeWine has only suggested parents take their children out of daycare if they have the means to do so.
For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.