Knox County Commissioner Bill Pursel

Knox County Commissioner Bill Pursel.

MOUNT VERNON -- The Knox County Commissioners sent a letter to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on May 7 urging him to allow the local population to return to work.

The entire letter reads like this:

Dear Governor DeWine,

We thank you for your leadership through the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic. Knox County has had excellent compliance with the stay-at-home and cease business operation orders. As a result, we have seen very low numbers of cases; 20 confirmed, two hospitalizations, and one attributed death of a 90-year-old male who died in Florida where he had resided since November of 2019.

We continue to protect our most vulnerable citizens, but the ongoing shutdown has hurt our local economy and in particular our small business owners. The vast majority are clamoring to get their doors open and get back to work. They too hve implemented safety measures and are prepared for a "new normal." The shutdown of schools, colleges, group events and large gatherings has been successful, and we believe now sufficient, to maintain our low numbers.

Overwhelmingly our citizens, business owenrs and workforce are self-determined, self-supporting and demand to get back to work to provide for their families, keep their business afloat and contribute to the local economy. They are reaching out to us asking, even pleading for the opportunity to return to work. We are losing the very foundation of our economy and we fear for the future if we continue down the current path.

The "one-size-fits-all" approach is no longer suitable for our rural communities. We have the local expertise, resources, and determination to make decisions that are best for our communities. Our public health professionals and elected officials are well equipped to make local decisions.

We implore you to allow us the opportunity to serve our county in the way we were elected and appointed to do.

Sincerely,

Thom Collier, Bill Pursel and Teresa Bemiller

Knox County Commissioners

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