OSU Extension Offices Throughout Ohio Implement Teleworking Options for Staff
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Governor DeWine recently issued a state of emergency for the state of Ohio, and along with the Ohio Department of Health, has implemented a variety of strategies to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Ohio State University Extension has implemented a teleworking plan effective immediately, and all OSU Extension offices will be closed to the public until further notice. This includes the local Meigs County Office.
This mirrors The Ohio State University’s decision earlier this week to close university buildings and facilities on all of its campuses to “critical services” only (such as law enforcement and public safety; hospitals and health services; facility utilities; and a few others).
In at statement from OSU Extension, “While our physical offices will be closed, we are committed to continuing to conduct our work as fully as possible. Our employees are prepared to telework and are ready to serve their local clients and communities. In recent years, OSU Extension has invested in the technology needed to facilitate effective teleworking for our organization; and we will utilize our resources during this challenging situation to remain engaged with Ohioans. Clients, stakeholders, and other community members should continue to connect with any OSU Extension staff member via phone or email as usual.”
Reopening of any county office facilities will depend on decisions from the governor and the state of Ohio, as well as The Ohio State University. The exact date when normal operations are expected resume in county Extension offices is unknown at this time. Until then, OSU Extension office staff will be working remotely and will remain accessible and available via email and phone.
“The health and well-being of our stakeholders, event participants, and employees is of utmost importance,” the statement read.
Each OSU Extension office has developed a business continuity plan that outlines how Extension staff will operate during situations such as the coronavirus outbreak. All staff will continue to work and serve local clientele through normal office hours (as previously determined by each county), and they will remain accountable for program management needs.
In Meigs County, starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at 4 p.m. the OSU Extension Office in Meigs County will close temporarily in response to confirmation of the coronavirus in the State of Ohio. The office will re-open once official notification has been communicated that normal office functions can resume.
In a statement from the Meigs County office, “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. At this time all staff are continuing to serve clientele remotely during normal office hours (M-T, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.) via phone, email and voice mail messages.”
- You may reach all staff by calling 740-992-6696 to leave a voice mail.
- You may also reach us by email:
- ANR & Camp Educator Michelle Stumbo – email@example.com
- 4-H Educator Nancy Sydenstricker – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office Associate – Debbie Watson – email@example.com
- SNAP Ed Program Assistant -Jilli Davis- firstname.lastname@example.org
”Please watch our Facebook site for Extension updates as well as your e-mails for 4-H updates,” read the statement.
Additionally, 4-H enrollment is still due by April 1st. Those wanting to enroll can bring enrollment forms as a club or individually to the drop box at the Meigs County Extension Office or mail them to the office. They will be checking the mail and the drop box daily.
OSU Extension also stated, “Please note that most Extension-planned activities from now through April 20 are now postponed, scheduled to be held virtually, or cancelled. If you have not already been contacted about an event or activity in which you were scheduled to participate and you have a question, please check with your local contact for that event. Thank you for your cooperation and collaboration related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The Ohio State University remains committed to the health and well-being of our community; and OSU Extension remains committed to serving our communities in each county as this situation evolves. These are unprecedented times, and we sincerely appreciate your flexibility and support.”