Tiffin Police Chief Fred Stevens took to Facebook on Monday to address some lingering questions and make some observations amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and the state’s stay-at-home order.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a very stressful and in some cases, scary time for many of us in Tiffin. The stay-at-home order issued Sunday, March 22nd, 2020, by Governor DeWine, that was to last until April 6th, 2020 and then the subsequent extension until May 1st, 2020, likely and understandably has increased those concerns,” Stevens said in a post to the department’s Facebook page Monday morning.
“I hope this will ease some of your worries in trying to understand what the stay-at-home order means for you and your families,” Stevens continued. “First, Tiffin Police Department will NOT have roadblocks setup to check those who are out and about. We trust everyone moving about will be doing so for the purposes of obtaining food, medical needs, or traveling to and from work and taking care of you and your family’s essential needs.”
Stevens said that people gathering in any size group may be asked to physically distance themselves or go home. “The governor has asked that all Ohioans abstain from all nonessential activities. Adhering to the order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every Ohioan to do their part. We are in this together!” Stevens said.
In terms of what is considered essential, Stevens noted that people may be out if they are coming or going to work, medical appointments, shopping for food, medications, and home products for yourself or someone unable to leave their home.
“Additionally, you CAN go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. You can go for a walk or a jog and you can take your dog for a walk. However, this does not mean you can go to public places that have been closed by this March 22nd order or any of the Governor’s previous or additional Executive Orders,” Stevens wrote.
Stevens said if you work at a business that you believe is nonessential but is still open, you should first discuss it with your employer to get their reasoning. Stevens noted that the Seneca County Health Commissioner has asked all businesses in the county to send her an email justifying their reason for being essential and open.
“I offer encouragement to everyone during this time to stay positive and remain calm. This is a time for people with children to reassure them they are safe and everything will be okay with just a few adjustments and adhering to safe practices. Use this as an opportunity to spend quality time with your families, get caught up on simple home projects, and enjoy this beautiful springtime weather,” Stevens said.
“We are TIFFIN STRONG and we will get through this! We have proven repeatedly through tornadoes, snowstorms, flooding and other disasters how strong and resilient we are. As always, WE will overcome this crisis and become stronger and even more resilient than before. This too shall pass. Until then, my thoughts and prayers continue to be with everyone as we navigate through this unsettling time,” Stevens added.