Community leaders in Livingston County encourage wearing of masks in public

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Livingston County health, governmental, business, and school officials are encouraging people to wear a mask in public where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

The plea comes following an increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Livingston County during the past several weeks. Officials they want to stop the spread of the virus now, so the county can continue to move forward in the process of re-opening, rather than return to restrictions in place a few months ago.

Livingston County Health Center Administer Sherry Weldon urged everyone to be cautious and considerate of others, and do what she called the right thing by wearing a mask in public. She said every citizen in Livingston County can help by making masks a regular part of everyday activities.

Joining the health center in the request include City of Chillicothe Officials, Chillicothe R-2 Schools, Livingston County Commissioners, Hedrick Medical Center, Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Chillicothe Visitor’s Region.

Chillicothe Mayor Theresa Kelly said taking personal responsibility to wear a mask will help businesses stay open, keep friends and neighbors on the job, and allow kids to go back to school safely.

Chillicothe City Administrator Darin Chappel said the community has to come together to lessen the spread of the infectious disease. Chappell remarked the city is united with county and health department leadership in encouraging people to consider how to best make it a reality for children to return to school in the safest and most effective way possible.

Chillicothe R-2 Superintendent Dan Wiebers noted the school district anticipates opening school buildings on August 25th. He said, for a successful re-opening to occur, the district must have healthy parents, teachers, staff, and students. Wiebers asked people to wear a mask when necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield was quoted as saying “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons available to slow and stop the spread of the virus, particularly when used universally within a community setting.” Doctor Redfield said, “All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”

Livingston County Health Center Administrator Weldon said “It’s not too late to flatten the curve locally. Disposable masks, and signs encouraging masks to be worn, are available at the Livingston County Health Center.

Other recommendations have been for hand washing, social distancing, covering coughs, and staying home when sick.