Judge Denise Moody and her staff were wearing face coverings Monday as they conducted court. The Clark County Courts are now open, however, face coverings are required to enter. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Coronavirus: Clark County begins reopening businesses, government

Some Clark County businesses and government offices reopened Monday adapting to the state’s new guidelines for operating during the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses falling under the categories of manufacturing, distribution and construction were allowed to reopen Monday. It mainly affected those that were not previously considered essential. General offices were allowed to reopen as well.

In Clark County, several county buildings reopened to the public with several stipulations. Those entering are required to wear face coverings as well as follow social distancing guidelines, which calls on people to maintain six or more feet from each other.

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However, only people with official business will be allowed to enter the Clark County Offices and Municipal Court building. That includes parties in a court case, subpoenaed witnesses, crime victims, summoned jurors and attorneys.

The Clark County dog shelter resumed normal hours on Monday and masks are to be worn and visitors and employees are to adhere to social distancing guidelines. The only exceptions for not wearing masks is around the dog kennels, according to a news release from county officials.

In addition, The Chamber of Greater Springfield reopened its office on South Limestone Street on Monday. That included the placing of markers in its lobby area to ensure social distancing as well as requiring employees interacting with visitors to wear face coverings.

The chamber has also limited the time that an employee can be in the office to four hours and has added several sanitizing stations for both employees and visitors, according to a news release from the organization.

In terms of manufacturing, many area companies were deemed essential. However, the pandemic has not impacted local manufacturers the same.

Some, especially those in the auto industry, have had to temporarily cease production due to supply chain issues. Navistar is expected to resume production on its main assembly line in Springfield on May 11.

Topre America was originally slated to start production at its Springfield facility on Monday. However, that has been pushed back to May 18.

Mercy Health —which operates the Springfield Regional Medical Center, the Urbana Hospital and the Mercy Medical Center in Enon— has set up a task force that is looking at what needs to be done in order to resume elective surgeries and other procedures that have been put on hold.

Health procedures that did not require overnight stays were permitted to resume Friday.

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Mercy Health has put several precautions in place that include limiting the number of entry points to its facilities, requiring patients to wear face coverings as well as patients completing a screening process in order to identify any potential COVID-19 exposures.

Visitor restrictions have also been put in place.

“As soon as we are able, Mercy Health will selectively expand clinical care within our facilities including elective procedures, based on patient needs, clinical criteria and physician recommendations,” said a news release from the hospital network.

Resuming elective procedures depends on the region as well as the amount of personal protective equipment available, Mercy Health said in the release.

Representatives of Mercy Health said patients who had a procedure postponed during the pandemic will be contacted in order to reschedule the appointment.

Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital in Springfield began offering imaging services last week after temporarily closing in March. Most of its services are elective and had to be put on hold.

The physician-owned hospital is looking to resume some procedures next week. Those would be limited and be non-complex surgeries that would not require an overnight stay, said Steve Eisentrager, Ohio Valley’s president.

In the meantime, Eisentrager said they have adequate PPE. He added that the hospital has expanded the screening process for patients and have swabs available to screen patients for COVID-19.

He said whether a patient is tested depends on several factors and those swabs will be sent to a lab so results can come back prior to the patient’s procedure.

The hospital is also limiting the number of people at its facility and is using virtual means, so patients, if able, can wait in their cars before being summoned into the building for their appointments.

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