As of last week, there were no known cases of COVID-19 in Richmond County. “Expect that to change as the virus creeps into more rural areas,” warned Mitch Paulette, Richmond County’s chief of emergency services.
The department has been monitoring the spread of the virus and is prepared to take the necessary action to ensure the safety of the county. “We’re taking all necessary precautions to make sure that our providers are safe and to be able to help the citizens,” Paulette added. Emergency services has already implemented safety measures that include having their facility professionally cleaned every week and sanitizing the vehicles multiple times per day.
Still, county leaders are urging residents to exercise personal safety.
“We continue to ask our citizens to limit exposure as much as possible by remaining at home during these times. We are in an uncertain environment with this virus, and the quicker we can defeat it, the faster our local businesses can resume to normal operations and we can get back to life as we know it,” said Richmond County board chairman Lee Sanders.
Meanwhile, the board, county administration and constitutional officials are still working to provide everyday services.
Small businesses aren’t forgotten
The county isn’t overlooking the fact that this is going to be a painful time for business owners.
“Small, local businesses are what make Richmond County a great place to live and we need them to be strong and prosper,” said county administrator Morgan Quicke.
“There are many financial programs that are being released by the state government and the federal government at this time, and we are working to understand them better ourselves so that we may assist any local business that may need help putting together an application for funding,” he added.
Warsaw is also stepping up measures to promote staying at home while helping local businesses. The town launched its Hunger Relief program, which provides no-contact food delivery from local restaurants to those town residents over 60 that sign up. Meals are offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday free of charge.
“We want to try to help our citizens at risk and we want to try to help our restaurants try to get through this,” said Randall Phelps, Warsaw’s mayor in an announcement posted on Facebook.
“We need those businesses to stay where they are and we need those employees to still get some sort of paycheck. So we’re going to help our citizens and we’re going to help our businesses. I think that’s a really smart thing to do,” he added.
The town served 72 meals the first day and had over 100 scheduled for the second day of service.
Warsaw also launched its prescription pickup program, delivering medication from Walgreens to residents age 60 and over, pregnant women and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Furthermore, due to confirmed cases in neighboring localities, the town closed the park and dog park until further notice.
“Please follow all CDC guidance and adhere to social distancing, routine hand washings, and stay at home if at all possible,” the town urged.