By: Rebecca Miller
Williams County Health Commissioner Jim Watkins announced on Friday, May 15, 2020 that the state has been remaining on a plateau for the past few weeks. “The numbers are not going up, but they are not going down either,” Watkins said.
It is his hope and recommendation that everyone continue using the safety measures that have been in place, so that the numbers will start to go down.
He reported on the Governor’s announcements as of May 14, that are moving the state from a transitioning approach to a sustainable approach to the virus and the possibility of infection. “Ohio has been able to secure greater testing capabilities and the state is sharing that with the counties, as well as assistance with better contact tracing, which is crucial,” Watkins said.
He highly recommends that as the state opens more and more opportunities to it’s citizens, that people consider lower risk activities rather than the higher risk ones. Some of the higher risk are those that might make crowds possible, even small crowds, and the best low risk are those that are outdoors.
As of May 15, outside dining is allowed, with some guidelines for the business owners and for the customers in order to stay safe. “I hope the public will adhere to those as that is what has gotten us to the point where we are now,” he added.
Campgrounds will be opened as of May 21, gyms and fitness businesses on May 26, low contact sports such as baseball and softball may begin on May 26 as well as swimming pools, if villages so choose.
Rachel Aeschliman, WC Health Department Nursing Director reported that as of May 14, Ohio has had 26,000 total cases. WCHD is watching the Ohio Department of Health Dashboard daily to keep an eye on where the state stands with cases and other information.
Also as of May 14, Williams County has tested positive for 44 cases, and are still standing with only four hospitalizations and one death since tracking started. She stated that in the past two weeks the new cases have been in the community, not at the jail. Over the past week the HD has been working with long term care facilities to get testing to them.
United Way Director for the county announced that they have a MASK GIVE-AWAY, in conjunction with EMA, scheduled for May 23 from ten a.m. to noon at the United Way office, which is located at 1100 East High St. in Bryan. It will be a Curbside pickup and they are expecting a huge turnout as it has been well shared on FaceBook.
There were no updates from other entities. Watkins responded to press questions, alerting the public that even though it is not mandatory, it is still requested that customers wear masks as they enter the newly opened businesses for service. Wait until seated for your meal or drinks before removing them.
He also clarified that there are restrictions as to how many people can be in a business at a time, that standing around waiting for a seat will not be allowed, all areas are to be separated and the maximum number allowed for a reservation is ten. The business owners are in charge of making this happen.
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org