Following Tuesday night’s news that COVID-19 is in Park County, local daycares should close immediately and all non-essential businesses should shut their doors, the county’s health …
Following Tuesday night’s news that COVID-19 is in Park County, local daycares should close immediately and all non-essential businesses should shut their doors, the county’s health officer said.
“If your business sells books, flowers, cuts people’s hair, this is a good time to close your business, take a staycation, go home, do some reading, some spring cleaning — spending time in the outdoors is absolutely fine right now,” Dr. Aaron Billin said in a Wednesday morning appearance on KODI-AM’s Daybreak program.
While Billin has not yet been able to issue an official public health order imposing any new rules, “I am asking people to do the right thing,” he said, “If you are not involved in essential service … it’s a good time to take a break and stay home.”
Billin’s examples of essential businesses included healthcare, law enforcement, those that deliver essential foods — like grocery stores and co-ops — and energy and communications providers; people in those services especially need to take steps to stay healthy so they remain available, he said.
In his remarks on KODI, Billin indicated it would be a good idea for restaurants to offer only take-out or drive-through service. Three nearby counties — Teton County in Wyoming and Yellowstone and Carbon counties in Montana — have already imposed restrictions on businesses and Billin said Park County should take similar precautions.
He also specifically cited a need for group daycare operations to shut down to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus in Park County.
“If we’re going to take kids out of school, why would we let children of a slightly younger age continue to congregate — especially when [we] know that they shed this virus for prolonged periods of time?” Billin said on KODI, saying that “all group daycare must stop.”
K-12 schools in Powell and Cody and the Northwest College campus have all been closed until at least April 6, being among many disruptions to everyday life in Park County and across the country. President Donald Trump has announced a nationwide campaign of “15 days to slow the spread.” During the two-week period, health officials will continue to evaluate whether restrictions need to be extended beyond that point.
“The public needs to buy into this, needs to get serious,” Billin said on KODI.
The doctor recommended holding only essential gatherings, as part of an effort to maximize “social distancing.” Residents are being urged to stay at least 6 feet away from others as a general rule.