Clinton County Health Department: Business managers can help through example

Employers asked to model safety

By Gary Huffenberger -

WILMINGTON — With re-openings of retail and non-essential manufacturing on the Ohio horizon, the Clinton County Health Department has a memo for business owners and managers: Set an example.

About 80 people registered for the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce’s virtual “Lunch & Learn” presentation Wednesday. The main presenters were the county health commissioner and her colleagues.

“You are the leaders of the business community. You are the people that people look up to. And it’s important that we’re always consistent with that [health and safety] messaging,” said Renee Quallen, a Registered Nurse with the Clinton County Health District.

It’s so important that business and community leaders set an example for their employees and their patrons who come into their business, and to model public health practices on social media, too, Quallen said.

There was a question-and-answer period for the remote audience.

Are employees required to wear a specific-type face mask or are face coverings allowed? If they can get a mask, that’s great because it offers more protection, but any face covering over the mouth and nose is helpful, said Quallen.

To obtain the most recent information on required protocols for business, go to the Responsible RestartOhio website, advised Clinton County Health Commissioner Pam Bauer.

Just this week, there was a change made concerning customers entering Ohio’s restarted retail stores, scheduled for May 14. Mandatory face coverings for customers were announced Monday, and on Tuesday that was changed to a highly recommended practice.

However, Bauer told the business operators that they as the person overseeing a business, can require face coverings of customers wishing to enter the store.

And there are business sectors whose re-openings have not been cleared or scheduled yet by State of Ohio officials, including theaters, fitness gyms and sporting venues.

“As we joke around here, all the fun stuff, as we like to say, is still closed,” Bauer said Wednesday.

Even with the permitted re-openings, Bauer said if people can still work from home, the local health district encourages them to continue doing that.

At one juncture, Bauer said for most people COVID-19 tends to be a mild illness, but some other people are going to be very sick, and some may need to be hospitalized, and some may need to be on a ventilator.

“And we do fully expect that at some point we’re going to have some deaths that are going to occur in this county as well,” said the Clinton County health commissioner.

She noted that at one point, seven Clinton Countians were hospitalized with COVID-19 at the same time.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dessie Rogers suggested business men and women utilize the Chamber’s COVID-19 business resource page for related articles that the chamber itself is receiving:

At the conclusion of the Lunch and Learn, Rogers told her business audience that if there’s anything the Chamber can do to assist or promote businesses during this difficult time, to not hesitate to reach out.

“We really are here for you — whether you’re a [Chamber of Commerce] member or non-member at this time. Everyone is part of the Chamber while we get through this together,” she said.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.
Employers asked to model safety

By Gary Huffenberger