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Prevention: Follow the guidelines and stay safe for restart

Though we have said it before, it bears repeating: Removal of the “hotspot” designation for Wood County and permission to reopen some businesses in our region do NOT mean it is safe to ditch social distancing and prevention measures.

Warnings about the perils of ignoring a second wave of the novel coronavirus are coming from around the globe. Returning to the behavior patterns of two months ago could be dangerous.

We must be smart about this, folks. It is possible to get our economy restarted to some degree with minimal risk. And, by the way, business owners and employers who ask you to wear a mask or follow other guidelines are not violating your Constitutional rights. They are trying to make it possible for you to work or do business with them without putting yourself or others in harm’s way.

“People wearing facemasks (in a store) means almost no transmission of the disease there,” said Dr. Charles Whitaker III, health officer for the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department. “Wear a mask to protect everyone else.”

We know now there are a remarkable number of people who are asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. Those with whom they come in contact may not be so lucky.

Gov. Jim Justice may have stumbled on his words a bit Monday when he asked West Virginians to “follow the … guidelines,” but the message is clear. We can get this right — we can restart out economy AND stay safe — if we understand we are still all in this together.

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