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Commissioners close city building to try to thwart COVID-19

WARREN — Trumbull County commissioners are closing their administrative building to the public, beginning today.

The move comes after an increase in COVID-19 cases in the county, region and state.

Commissioners voted in favor of closing the building to the public, but employees still are able to enter the building, based on recommendations made by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House and local public health officials, according to a public notice issued Wednesday by commissioners.

“The public should call the office or check the official website for any public official or any department for specific guidance on how to conduct transactions,” the notice on the commissioners’ website states.

The “temporary” changes are meant as an “aggressive” response, “necessary to control the spread of the virus,” the notice states.

“The health and safety of the public and our employees is of our utmost concern, as well as the rights of all individuals,” the notice states.

The closure will make it easier to comply with social-distancing standards.

The closure does not have a scheduled end. The county closed the building at the beginning of the pandemic, but reopened when cases were low in the summer.

Specific information is available at http://www.co.trumbull.oh.us.

The board of commissioners can take questions by phone at 330-675-2451, or email at cegodfre@co.trumbull.oh.us.

“Our efforts and precautionary measures are in the best interest of Trumbull County residents, citizens and employees. We apologize for any inconvenience that these temporary measures may impose and your continued cooperation in this time of great concern is truly appreciated,” the notice states.

Drop boxes are available in the lobby of the administration building, where paperwork can be left. Sheriff’s deputies monitor the lobby.

“It’s difficult because on the one hand we understand that this can be an inconvenience to many, and the last thing we want to do is interrupt or delay any essential county services, but keeping our workers and the general public safe remains our top priority,” Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa said. “The latest numbers are saying that there were 191 confirmed positive cases in Trumbull County today. That is more than 20 times the number of cases we saw in the spring. We needed to take some proactive steps as the indicators continue to trend in a dangerous direction. As Gov. De-Wine quite simply put it, this is a matter of life and death. How we react, or fail to react, to this second wave puts people at risk. We can’t afford to do that, especially with more and more strain put on our health care facilities and our health care workers.”

rfox@tribtoday.com

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