Coronavirus: Clark County health officials ask residents to ‘meet in the middle’ for the holiday weekend

The Clark County Combined Health District is asking residents to “meet them in the middle,” when it comes to adhering to coronavirus prevention guidelines over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Charles Patterson, CCCHD Commissioner, said the holiday weekend presents an “interesting problem,” for the district and other healthcare providers.

“We have talked about this before but the general public is sort of getting COVID-19 weary. They are very much of the mindset of, ‘OK it’s summer and I want to get back to regular life,” Patterson said. “We would ask the public to consider meeting us in the middle.”

Patterson said “meeting in the middle,” refers to the understanding that returning to normal life isn’t an option right now, but getting together with family and friends under the right circumstances is.

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“We can certainly get together with our family and our friends in small groups, but we need to be sure we are social distancing and we need to wear masks when appropriate,” Patterson said.

Gov. Mike DeWine said this week he has concerns about the upcoming Fourth of July holiday on Saturday. He said people will likely be “intermingling” over the holiday, resulting in clusters of cases in areas of the state that might already have hot spots.

Two summer major holidays, Memorial Day and Fourth of July, have caused health officials to worry about residents vacationing and not practicing coronavirus prevention protocol.

Patterson previously expressed worry about a post-Memorial Day weekend spike, which appears to have occurred in Clark County. On Memorial Day, the county had 187 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. By Thursday that number had increased by 552 cases, according to CCCHD data.

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Clark County had 739 confirmed cases, eights deaths and one probable death, of the coronavirus as of Thursday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s website.

Patterson said because the Miami Valley is considered a hot spot, residents should be extra cautious if they plan on traveling for the holiday weekend as they could be carrying the virus and not be aware of it.

“We are reminding people that there is no travel ban inside the United State. There is no automatic quarantine if you leave the state. But something to take into account is that because you are coming home to the Miami Valley, which is a hot spot, you need to make sure you are going out of your way to social distance and wear a mask,” Patterson said.

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