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Local leaders come together with COVID-19 message

Local leaders come together with COVID-19 message Local leaders come together with COVID-19 message

A reassuring message came out of City Hall Monday morning as a group of city and county leaders gathered to record a message to residents about the local COVID-19 response and encourage them to support area businesses.

“We want you to know that our community leadership has professionals that are constantly working for you. We are also asking you to do your part, follow the guidelines and be kind to your fellow community members,” said mayor Mike Wellner. “We are all in this together.”

The recording was arranged by Sue Emmerich of the Medford Area Chamber of Commerce and brought together, Wellner, county board chairman Jim Metz, police chief Chad Liske and Taylor County sheriff Larry Woebbeking to update the public. The recording was shared on social media.

“We are here today to encourage our communities to be safe this holiday season. To think about others before you act and to know we are monitoring our community’s response the pandemic,” Wellner said.

He noted the pandemic has had many layers of response from physical and mental health to impacting the livelihoods of local businesses. He emphasized the work being done to provide safe holiday events for the community and the need to show support for the business community.

Metz echoed that sentiment particularly in regard to patronizing local restaurants. He said that all local restaurants are providing curb side service and that it is important to support them. One way of doing so, he said, was to order ahead for family meals over the holidays.

“Think about how they have supported all of us, through donations and benefits and supporting our local sports teams. Make it a priority to get some take-out this holiday season.” Metz said.

Metz went on to praise county health director Patty Krug and her whole team who have been working long hours in reacting to the pandemic. “Give them a kind word when you see them,” he said.

Liske encouraged people to emphasize safety this season, especially paying attention to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines when it comes to gatherings and travel.

“Everyone knows that Zoom Christmases aren’t the same, but they will lead the way for a bigger and better celebration in 2021,” Liske said. He went on to thank fellow first responders and those in the healthcare field for their efforts.

Woebbeking emphasized the need to not back off from safety precautions over the holidays. “We need to be in this together to continue to keep safe,” he said.

Woebbeking also praised those involved with education and bus drivers who are in the midst of dealing with the pandemic and who are working extra hard to make sure children are learning.

The message comes as Taylor County’s cases continue to climb, although at a slightly slower rate than in recent weeks. As of Wednesday, the county reported a running total of 1,638 confirmed cases, up from a total of 1,543 last week. There were 15 new cases reported on Wednesday, and 346 residents remain in isolation or quarantine, with 12 residents currently hospitalized. The number of COVID-19 related deaths reported by the Taylor County Medical Examiner’s office is at 28.