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Mayor’s Opening Statement on the COVID-19 Pandemic June 18


June 18, 2020

Good evening.  We continue to take our cues from Charleston regarding all things covid-19.  We continue to recognize & appreciate the excellent performance of our City employees during this difficult time.  We have recently relaxed some restrictions that had been put in place during the previous three months to minimize the spread of the virus & to protect our residents.  There really are no new restrictions to impose at this juncture, nor restrictions to relax.  The shots are all called out of Charleston.  I sense that many folks are treating things as though we’re back to business as usual.  Such could not be any further from the truth.  More than a thousand people are dying every day in the United States from this virus, including folks right here around us.  Lewis County reported another death just yesterday along with five new reported cases.  There are newly reported cases here in Upshur County.

City Hall has been reopened for more than two weeks now with virtually no issues.  We continue to urge all people coming to City Hall or any City facility that’s been reopened to the public to continue to take extra daily, sanitation measures; encouraging wearing of masks, etc., all to reduce the threat of virus exposure to everyone who enters City Hall or any other City facility.  Again- please continue to wash your hands, social distance, stay home if sick, wear masks when out grocery shopping, & check on the elderly or those who are immunity system challenged.

Crossroad recycling reopens this Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon.  Our operations there had to change considerably given the amount of regular garbage that had evolved at our recycling site.  The bins will be brought in just before 8:00 a.m. & removed right after noon.  The pandemic gave our waste collection staff pause to rethink how we recycle in Buckhannon.  Bulky goods collection will resume on Friday, July 10.

As reported at the last Council meeting, our Buckhannon Walmart is scheduled to commence its curbside grocery pickup, or “online grocery” service as Walmart prefers to call it- on Wednesday, July 29.  Senior citizens should strongly consider taking advantage of this new grocery option next month when it’s brought on-line to avoid entry into the store thus being better protected against exposure to the virus.  We appreciate our ongoing partnership with our business partners at Walmart.  

We continue to work on the Fourth of July fireworks exhibition starting at about 9:45-10:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 5, with attendees remaining within or immediately beside their cars.  As reported previously, City representatives are working with businesses around the launch site to create a master parking plan to accommodate those desiring to attend.  Thus far, Citizens Bank, Community Bank, & CVS have offered up their parking lots for the festivities & we thank our collaborative, business partners as always.  We will attempt to secure more parking partners during the next couple of weeks.  Our event will be very sensitive to social distancing requirements.

We now have had 10 positive tests confirmed here in Upshur County.  Eighty-nine of our fellow mountaineers have succumbed to the virus, & more than 2,400 have tested positively in West Virginia.  Nearly 119,000 Americans have now died from covid-19, & the total number of Americans who’ve contracted the disease has eclipsed 2.183 million, with more than 8.4 million cases worldwide & more than 451,000 deaths.  Our City will continue to follow the mandates & recommendations from Governor Justice & State & county health officials.  This remains a very highly fluid situation.  We are currently experiencing virus spikes in our region.

We continue to be all in THIS together.  If you have an emergency- contact 911 as you normally would.  The best source of information about Covid-19 remains the Centers for Disease Control website.  We still have a long way to go to get past this crisis.  Please- follow the science & pray for the vaccine soon.  

Mayor David McCauley