Rhinelander-area leaders meet to coordinate virus response
By Ben Meyer/WXPR
As he began coordinating community responses to the coronavirus, YMCA of the Northwoods CEO Ryan Zietlow found himself having the same conversation over and over.
So, on Monday, he brought together community leaders together to work as one.
The Oneida County Health Department, health care providers, school leaders, emergency responders, the chamber of commerce, and the mayor attended a meeting led by Zietlow at Rhinelander City Hall.
“As I began conversations with other community leaders, I understood that we’re all beginning to talk about the same things,” Zietlow said. “What are those critical community needs and how do we approach them and how do we really support our friends and neighbors that are around Rhinelander and the greater Northwoods?”
Zietlow found those leaders are worried about staffing shortages, supplies, and childcare with school cancelled statewide.
“Childcare is strained in the Northwoods already, especially looking at our early learning centers for those youngest children that we’re serving,” Zietlow said. “Really, the school closures expedited the process when it comes to school-age kids. It really threw our childcare environment into even greater crisis about, how do we serve those kids and still keep critical services in our community open?”
Zietlow and others see options for temporarily increasing childcare. They’ll work on those options in the coming days.
Rhinelander Mayor Chris Frederickson plans to help create an online information repository for the community surrounding the virus and available resources.
“One of the things that I’ve learned as mayor is correct information and getting it out at the correct time is highly important,” Frederickson said. “Giving people a sense of overall, general well being comes from having the correct information at the correct time.”
That information repository will be developed on the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce website.