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Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

DOWN: To those in positions to give residents of our region information that will help them not only understand the situation they face, but keep themselves healthy or seek testing, who instead choose to hide behind privacy regulations in releasing as little information as possible and in an untimely fashion. It is, indeed, possible to give information such as the general age range and gender of a confirmed case, a general idea of how that person believes he or she caught COVID-19, whether that person might have had the potential to spread the virus to others before he or she was tested, and more, without violating that person’s privacy. Further, it is possible to share steps being taken at medical facilities to keep workers and members of the public safe without fear of that information shedding a negative light on the facility. Some organizations and agencies are, rightfully, sharing necessary information freely AND protecting patients’ privacy. Others should follow suit immediately, lest their failure to communicate make this very challenging time worse for all of us.

UP: To the extension of West Virginia’s tax deadline to July 15, mirroring the new federal deadline. Though the change may have some affect on how dollar amounts fall into our state’s fiscal calendar (the fiscal year ends June 30), Gov. Jim Justice and State Tax Commissioner Dale Steager did the right thing amid these extraordinary circumstances.

UP: To Wood County Schools’ effort to continue feeding the kids who need it most, even as a rapidly changing situation makes it harder to do so. It is not unreasonable to ask for verification that the food is truly going to children who might otherwise not be properly fed for the day. Kudos to those still trying to do a lot of good and provide a little stability for our kids.

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