Gallia Commissioners ask state to allow reopening

Staff Report

GALLIPOLIS — Gallia Commissioners Harold Montgomery, David Smith and Brent Saunders recently addressed a letter to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine regarding their concerns surrounding COVID-19 government action and requested the governor allow Gallia businesses to reopen.

What follows is the letter to DeWine from the commissioners:

The Gallia County Board of Commissioners are requesting that you empower our local health department and elected officials to have the right to make decisions best for our community. As of today, May 5, 2020, our county statistics are six confirmed cases, two hospitalizations and one death that was extremely ill prior to contracting the COVID-19 virus…

Gallia County borders Mason and Cabell Counties in West Virginia. Mason County has twelve confirmed cases and Cabell County has fourty-four confirmed cases. With all of West Virginia now open for business we know we will have Gallia County residents crossing over into Mason and Cabell counties for services that we cannot provide in Gallia County. Our residents will be traveling into a more contagious area and could bring more of this disease back into Gallia County.

You have educated the public on the preventative measures needed to limit the risk of COVID-19. Our county statistics reflect that we as a community have implemented your recommendations and now it is time to empower the individual business owners with the opportunity to re-open. They have been educated to know how to proceed and we trust them to work with the Gallia County Health Department to make the right decisions to keep their employees and the public safe. We are confident that remaining closed is a greater harm to the mental and financial health of our community.

We took an oath as county commissioners to uphold the constitutions of the United States and the State of Ohio. It is our responsibility as elected officials to protect our citizens’ rights.

Staff Report