April 2020

ABC6: City, public service leaders answer questions on impact of COVID-19 on Columbus

Watch via ABC6

Columbus City Council held another virtual town hall to answer your questions about how city services are being affected by COVID-19.

Across Ohio, there are more than 16,700 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

“Columbus is at 1,609 cases,” Director of Policy for Columbus Public Health, Edward Johnson said.

Of that number, Johnson said 43 Columbus families have lost someone to coronavirus.

Columbus Division of Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin was asked when should someone call 911 if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

“If any of these symptoms get to the point where you’re having trouble breathing, or you have persistent pain, or pressure in your chest, you have confusion, or inability to stay awake, or you start to have blue-ish lips, or you’re very pale, then it’s time to call 911,” Martin said.

He said while COVID-19 spreads, other emergencies continue to happen, and so do overdoses.

“Isolation is one of the enemies of addiction,” Martin said.

The RREACT team typically finds people within days of experiencing an overdose. Now, the team drops information in the mailbox and hope to get a call.

“If there’s an opportunity for us to take them to a recovery facility, we are happy to do that,” Martin said. “We will drive them to that facility while we’re wearing our PPE, and they’re wearing a mask as well.”

Refuse Administrator, Tim Swauger was asked about the volume of trash increasing by 30 percent.

“People are at home, so they’re generating some more trash, so it’s causing some work on our end. We’re having to double up on some of our routes. We’re having to send extra trucks out,” Swauger said.

He’s warning people not to illegally dump trash and encouraging everyone to continue recycling.

President of the Columbus Urban League, Stephanie Hightower was also there virtually to answer questions about the home stabilization program. It’s for people who are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and need support. Call 614-484-9111 to get started.