Officials confident Boyle can weather coronavirus storm

Published 6:49 pm Wednesday, March 18, 2020


As Boyle County residents prepare to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic, local leaders are working together to implement action plans that may seem “abundantly cautious” to some people. Schools are closed, restaurants have closed their dining rooms, theaters are dark and many small businesses and attractions have locked their doors in an effort to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

During Tuesday’s local news conference, Boyle County Judge-Executive Howard Hunt said, “We’re fighting an enemy that we’ve never fought before — it’s a virus. It’s usually a tornado or a flood or an ice storm. But this time it’s a disease.”

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“The rest of the story is, you in Boyle County, in my personal opinion, are very fortunate to have people like Mike Wilder, our emergency management director; Brent Blevins, our health department director — there’s so many in this county that have vast experience in this arena that you can rest assured that along with them and several others…. we are listening to the heartbeat of this incident as it goes on daily,” Hunt said.

“We’re on conference calls. We’re getting email downloads. We’re getting links online from the federal and state government in a very fluid situation,” he added. “Rest assured, Boyle Countians, that we are engaged. We are at the helm, attentive to the details that are necessary for the protection of all of Boyle County. And we will continuously update you so you can be as safe as possible.”

Delegations from the offices of Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul, as well as Congressman Brett Guthrie’s office have offered their support, “in anything we need to do to be successful to protect Boyle County. All we have to do is reach out and let them know what our needs are,” Hunt said.

He also urged everyone to “look out for” their neighbors, especially those who don’t have internet and may not be getting the most up-to-date information about the spread of the virus. “Help them stay safe and protected.”

“We’re on point. We’re paying attention and the residents of Boyle County will have information as we have it from the federal and state governments to best protect you,” Hunt said.

Blevins said, “We truly have a great collaboration here with the state, the city, the county, all of our EMS, all of our Ephraim Health systems, our police … we appreciate the collaboration that’s been going on. We’ll continue to just move right ahead and get through this.”

Blevins suggested that while social distancing was causing restaurants and businesses to close temporarily and people were staying home, “Go ahead and start thinking about that when the governor lifts his recommendations, whenever that is, how can we get back to business — learning the things we’re learning now, and get the economy going again and get people back to work? So go ahead and start thinking about it, because that day will come and we need to be ready.”

On Wednesday, Danville Mayor Mike Perros said he was impressed with the amount of preparatory work that the city and county have worked on together.

“I can’t imagine any other community any better prepared than we are at this point.”