Wood County officials stress vigilance in face of pandemic

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Commission continues to address the pandemic by encouraging people to continue to protect themselves and others.

The commission held its regular Thursday meeting in the Boreman Room of the Judge Black Annex. The room allows for social distancing.

Earlier this week, Gov. Jim Justice issued an executive order for people to wear masks inside public buildings. If the number of cases don’t go down, state officials are considering stricter measures.

Commissioners reiterated the use of masks and face shields can help slow the spread of this.

“The governor does not want to shut down the economy, like we did the first go around,” Commission President Blair Couch said. “He believes that face coverings will allow us to operate like we do today and avoid shutting down restaurants, businesses and churches again.”

Officials do not want local health care facilities to be pushed to capacity.

Commissioner Jimmy Colombo said he believes many stricter penalties being considered by the governor might not stand up if challenged in court.

However, health officials said face coverings can slow down the spread.

“Shutting down the economy again is not the right idea,” Couch said.

Again, officials remind people to wear face coverings and wash their hands, among other precautions.

Wood County has seen an increase in cases when before it was seeing a new case every so often. Seventy-five cases are active in Wood County.

“It has been ramping up,” Couch said.

People have been traveling to hot spots, like the Myrtle Beach area, and returning here. People are having large gatherings of family and friends where it has been known to spread.

“People are feeling more confident,” Couch said. “Just don’t let your guard down.

“Now is not the time to do that. (COVID-19) is coming back with a vengeance.”

The commission is planning to meet in the Boreman Room again next week on Monday and Thursday and stream the meetings online.

Contact Brett Dunlap at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com


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