It’s become the buzzword of 2020 and it’s going to be a necessary practice for quite some time, Johnson County Judge Roger Harmon said of social distancing during Friday’s called meeting of the Johnson County Commissioners Court.

“With barbers and hair salons having reopened and with other businesses likely to reopen soon, the need for continued social distancing is so critical,” Harmon said. “And I hope as these businesses continue to reopen they will stress the importance of that to their employees and customers. This need for social distancing is going to be with us for a while.”

Harmon said he hopes positive COVID-19 case numbers do not spike again come fall and that he hopes, as November’s presidential election draws nearer, that politics don’t overtake the narrative of the pandemic.

“Politics don’t have a place in this,” Harmon said.

Harmon reported that, as of Thursday, cumulative positive COVID-19 cases in the county now total 110. Promising news, Harmon said, is that 73 of those individuals have since been released. 

“Our line is declining, and that’s good news,” Harmon said. “A lot of that has to do with our residents practicing those social distancing and safety measures. We do have five or six testing sites operating in the county now testing a large number of people. So we’re going to see those numbers of positive cases rise, but the good news is that most are coming off.”

Commissioner Larry Woolley applauded such news.

“That’s 66 percent of our cumulative numbers who have since been released based on [Thursday’s] numbers,” Woolley said. “Our case count continues to increase, but our release rate is higher.”

Woolley noted that his hometown, Grandview, remains the sole city in the county not to have reported any positive cases.

“People ask me why not Grandview?” Woolley said. “But the flu bug, or some kind of bug, went through the city back in February before everyone knew what COVID-19 was. So I think some of our people may have had it back then.”

 

No go

A request to sell fireworks over the Memorial Day holiday weekend found no favor with commissioners. Commissioners didn’t deny the request. Instead they took no action, which essentially results in the same outcome.

“We’ve had 25 mph winds and our first responders have enough to worry about right now with this COVID-19 deal,” Commissioner Rick Bailey said. 

Woolley agreed.

“We don’t need to load anymore worries on to our first responders right now,” Woolley said. “The wheat is beginning to turn pretty soon in Precinct 4 on top of that so I’m not in favor of letting people sell fireworks right now.”

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