Commissioners urge residents to avoid county offices for non-essential tasks

[Tiffin, OH – March 13, 2020] — Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Shayne Thomas, in conjunction with the Seneca County General Health District and the Seneca County Emergency Management Agency, is urging residents to avoid visiting county offices for all non-essential business.
The board also has decided to cancel its March 17 board session.
On March 12, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued an executive order banning the gathering of more than 100 individuals in one location to attempt to stop the communal spread of COVID-19, aka coronavirus. To ensure the well-being and safety of the county’s employees and its citizens, the commissioners are asking members of the public to conduct county business electronically via phone call or e-mail.
For a list of phone numbers and e-mail addresses for county offices, visit this link. The list is available on the Seneca Regional Planning Commission website under the “county directory.”
County offices will remain open, but please attempt to reach these offices via phone or e-mail instead of visiting the physical location, when possible. If you must visit a county office in-person, please attempt to call or e-mail ahead of time.
The commissioners cannot make decisions for any offices run by elected officials, but Thomas said he was encouraging all officials countywide to consider limiting access to the public when possible.
County officials have spent the past month researching the COVID-19 situation, including meetings and conference calls with federal, state and local officials.
“We have been monitoring this situation for quite some time, and while we do not intend to induce panic among residents, we feel we need to set an example by reducing human-to-human contact as much as possible during this time,” Thomas said. “Continue using common-sense hygiene practices and limit your social interactions when possible.”
According to Seneca County Health Commissioner Beth Schweitzer, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Seneca County, but it is likely that the virus will make its way into the community at some point. Because the virus has a lengthy incubation period, someone can be infected, but may not show symptoms for up to two weeks.
The move by the board to attempt to digitize as many physical interactions as possible is out of an overabundance of caution as leaders across the world deal with this issue.
Thomas said the situation is fluid, and as the commissioners receive more information, changes to this policy are possible. If you have any questions, please contact the commissioners’ office (419) 447-4550, or e-mail the county’s PR Coordinator Jimmy Flint, at
For more information about COVID-19, visit