Clark County Sheriff’s Office to assist in enforcing stay-at-home order

Clark County Sheriff’s Office cruiser. BROOKE SPURLOCK/STAFF

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Clark County Sheriff’s Office cruiser. BROOKE SPURLOCK/STAFF

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office will assist the Clark County Combined Health District is enforcing Gov. Mike DeWine’s ‘stay-at-home’ order, according to a post on their social media page.

The CCCHD has received over 200 complaints about community members not following the governor’s order — which bans gatherings of 10 or more people, according to CCCHD spokesperson Emma Smales.

“As a result of the reported violations, the Clark County Combined Health District has asked the sheriff’s office for assistance in enforcing the order,” a post on the sheriff’s office Facebook page from Wednesday said. “Every community member needs to be responsible and do what is necessary to get through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to the post, the complaints are concerning parties and children on playgrounds.

“Playgrounds are closed until the order is lifted because they pose a high risk of increasing transmission,” the post said.

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Major Chris Clark with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office said the office will not be “blindly citing people.”

“Our enforcement plan is one of education. If we get a call about a violation of the health department’s rules our plan is first to speak with the local health department and if necessary speak with those involved and first attempt to educate them about why these orders are in place,” Clark said.

Clark said the sheriff’s office does not want to cite anyone “unless it becomes absolutely necessary to do so.”

“We would much rather work with people and educate them as to why it’s important for the safety of the county to follow these orders,” Clark said. “The first priority is the safety and security of everyone in the county.”

Clark County has received an ‘F’ rating in social distancing, according to the latest figures from the national data tracking website, Unacast. The data company, which collects and provides cellphone location data and analysis to the retail, real estate, marketing and tourism industries, recently launched the social distancing scoreboard.

The scoreboard is an interactive map that assigns letter grades to every state and county in the country based on location data and human mobility insights from cell phone data. The data tracks how often residents are leaving their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Unacast’s website.

Clark County received the ‘F’ because county residents have only shown a less than 25% change in the average distance traveled by residents between Feb. 24 and April 10, Unacast’s website said. On average, Ohio residents have changed their distance traveled by 25% to 40%.

The county had previously received a ‘C-’ on March 31.

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Clark County has reported 14 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Friday. Cases have been found in the City of Springfield, Bethel Township, German Township, Mad River Township, Moorefield Township and New Carlisle.

DeWine said on Wednesday that successful social distancing has caused the latest coronavirus model now projecting a peak of 1,600 new case a day in mid-April — well below earlier projections of 10,000 cases a day.

“We are doing well in Ohio,” DeWine said. “You all have done a great job.”

However, people are still dying, front-line workers lack enough personal protective equipment and the need for social distancing continues, DeWine said.

“You are succeeding but the second you ease back, we’ll see ourselves in an outbreak that will really overwhelm our health care system,” health department director Dr. Amy Acton said on Wednesday.

Clark County residents can contact the CCCHD at 937-390-5600 if they have complaints about businesses or locals not following the governor’s order.

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