Hamilton County Mayor Jim Copinger on Thursday, October 8, renewed a countywide mandate supported by members of the local medical and business community.
The mandate, initially taking place in July, was scheduled to end on September 8, but was extended to 30 days to prevent the spread of coronovirus that has infected more than 8,000 and killed 78 in Hamilton County .
“It gives us an opportunity, when people put on a mask,” Köppinger asked the county health department to expand the mandate. “I ask the public to bear with us and remember this is not for the rest of your life.”
“We need your support, it is essential that we get your support, so that we can get tourism back here,” he said.
Köppinger – along with several local physicians, business owners and community leaders advocating the mandate – spoke at a press conference on Thursday morning.
(Read more: What you need to know about the mask of Hamilton County during the COVID-19 epidemic)
Representatives of the community, members of Coppinger’s recently formed advisory task force, all echoed the importance of masks to prevent the spread of the virus and reopen the economy and benefit businesses controlled by earlier shutdowns.
“This virus has been devastating in many, many businesses in our industry and our community. The fact is, many businesses simply won’t make it,” said local hotel owner Mitch Patel, who battles to retain businesses and jobs. “This current environment is causing stress for many employees in the service industry, but this mask mandate has relieved that stress to some extent, as these employees also count that customers wear masks.”
“This masked mandate is not only saving lives, but saving businesses and livelihoods and jobs,” he said.
(Read: Hamilton County’s mask mandate: is it working to curb coronovirus?)
Beyond the health and financial impact of the mandate, wearing the mask has affected some of the most comfortable parts of the community.
Hamilton County Superintendent of Schools Brian Johnson said Thursday that the schools took three stages this week — with some games — deciding the full schedule of the person learning, but masks and other safety protocols — Johnson asked him Expected to last longer or all of this school year, thanks in part to the mandate.
With four more weeks of mandate, infectious disease specialist Drs. Mark Anderson said the county would see another cycle of the gradual impact of the mandate.
“It is going to take about 2-4 or 5 weeks to see a change from a change in behavior, because people are infected, there is an incubation period that can be up to 14 days until the interval time is up, “Said Anderson, a doctor at the CHI Memorial. “And actually, this is what we saw after several weeks. We started seeing that the number of positive cases is decreasing, and then the number of people in the hospital is going to be even slower, because when people They get sick with it, it is quite devastating and they are sick for a long, long time. ”
Keeping this in mind, Köppinger says he will follow similar data and re-evaluate another renewal of the mandate as the approach ends on 8 October.
(Read more: Hamilton County Makes First Business for Non-Business with Mask Mandate)
While Anderson said seasonality has no effect on the virus, meaning that the “cold weather” may not spike, he said the county could see a further boom if individuals and businesses mandate and other protections. Be careful not to take precautions.
“What the virus does when we’re not taking the precautions I’ve talked about, specifically, masks,” he said, emphasizing the importance of masks and social distance in a long line of experts has gone. “When people started opening up more, doing more stuff, gathering more and not wearing masks, we saw things just burst around the country, we saw it in this community.”
“Now that we are working with this masked mandate, we are seeing it go down in this community as well, which re-emphasizes the full importance of these measures,” he said.
To encourage compliance, the mandate carries a $ 50 fine and 30 days jail time for mandating anyone violating the mandate, although Pradhan has not cited anyone related to the mandate because It was started. While Coppinger said he has personally seen 100% compliance of the facade order in businesses that will continue to monitor and enforce immigration in the county.
(Read more: Hamilton County Sheriff will lean toward warning in COVID-19 mask enforcement)
“I don’t think I’ve rarely seen anyone, and again, he speaks volumes of our community to do that,” Coppinger said, noting that recently a crime business by the county The lawsuit was repeatedly filed for violating the act. “It is not intended to be punitive, but there is a mechanism, obviously, and I think it has been recently reported, for people who are completely resistant right now.”
Becky Barnes, administrator of the Hamilton County Health Department, confirmed that the department would re-sign the order, noting that the department and the mayor worked closely on the decision.
For more information about face covering requirements, see the order given here.
Contact Sarah Grace Taylor [email protected] or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.