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Mayor calls town residents to be 'patient, calm and thoughtful'
May 8, 2020

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SHEPHERDSTOWN -- On Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Jim Auxer sent a message out to residents in the Corporation of Shepherdstown, in response to Gov. Jim Justice's press briefing on Monday.

Justice announced in his videoconference that Jefferson County, along with Berkeley, Monongalia, Marion and Harrison counties, will remain under the stricter guidelines of his six-week plan to reopen the economy. Identified as "hotspots" for the spread of the coronavirus, these counties are still opening up, to some extent. Nonessential small businesses with less than 10 employees are allowed to open; outdoor dining at restaurants is now allowed; churches and funerals with limited gathering sizes can now operate, as long as they limit their gathering sizes, have people sit in every-other-pew, observe physical distancing and wear face masks; profession service businesses, such as hair salons, nail salons, barbershops and dog grooming shops, can also schedule appointments (customers should wait in their vehicles instead of inside of the business until the scheduled time of their appointments).

"You should continue to stay home if you have any symptoms whatsoever that could be related to this virus," Justice said. "This disease is still with us. Absolutely you should take all the precautions in the world, especially if you're in excess of 65 years of age or you're older than 50 and have certain chronic problems."

As of Tuesday evening, Jefferson County had had 83 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with one confirmed death. Auxer asked community members to be "patient, calm and thoughtful" as they continue to remain under social distancing measures.

"Please continue to follow the Jefferson County Health Department's recommendations regarding our county's designation as a hotspot," Auxer said, mentioning the recommendations could be found at www.jchdwv.org. "The numbers suggest that those guidelines have been beneficial in our struggle with COVID-19.

"Accurate and current information to relay to the community is often prefaced by 'we are working through this because the situation, it is ever changing.' That statement is very true," Auxer said. "Being patient, calm and thoughtful are paramount as we anxiously await for an improvement in our situation."

Auxer said he is "in daily communication with the Jefferson County Health Department" regarding regulation updates that he should share on the town's website. He is also communicating with Shepherd University officials "three times per week" to share information and learn about the institution's health.

In regards to the situation of Corporation of Shepherdstown employees over the last few weeks, Auxer said they have continued "to provide essential public works and administrative services" while observing social distancing protocols.

"As always, support our businesses and look out for our neighbors. Please remember we are responsible for each other's safety and wellbeing," Auxer said.

For up-to-date information, visit www.shepherdstown.us or call 304-876-2312.

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