ABERDEEN, Ohio — “They’ll be on the road by next week,” Chief David Benjamin of the Aberdeen Police Department said of the department’s two new donated Ford Explorer cruisers.

Aberdeen received the cruisers from Franklin County Sheriff’s Department early last month, though this isn’t the first time they’ve been a help to Benjamin, he said.

“I’ve had a relationship in the past with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department. They’re fleet services, whenever they pull a cruiser off the road, they donate them to other agencies. A lot of times they strip them down from the equipment, but you get a pretty nice well-maintained cruiser. This has probably been five or six years that I’ve had this communication line. When I was chief in Winchester we received two Crown Vics.”

Benjamin said that he had frequent communication with the Franklin County Sheriff. Every six months or so, he’d send them an email checking to see if they had cruisers to donate.

“About the first part of November we received some communication from them and they said ‘hey, we have three Ford Explorers that we’re looking to donate if that’s something you’d be interested in.’ And a lot of times when you get them they have small issues, so the first cruiser we got was a 2016 and it had 137,000 miles on it. The only thing wrong with it was a cracked wind shield, so that was a quick fix, no problem.”

“The other was a 2015, and they believed it had an exhaust manifold issue, but when we dug into that a little further, it was more of an issue. It also had a bad turbo, and a few other things, so it does cost us a little bit as far as maintenance to get it on the road, but for $1800 I think is the total cost on it getting fixed, it’ll be on the roadway as well.”

Benjamin said the department is excited to be able to get a 2015 and 2016 Ford Explorer with around 130,000 miles on them and to think that they’ll last four or five years in their service. This year alone, Benjamin said that their biggest problem has been vehicle maintenance.

“We have three cruisers that are well over 100,000 miles, so every time we turn around one of them has been in the shop, so we’ve not been able to keep cruisers on the road. To get four or five years out of a cruiser that’s been donated will be a blessing to our agency and help out our budget tremendously,” he said.

“When we got them they were all black. We’re trying to keep everything uniform, so when somebody sees our cruisers, they’ll known it’s Aberdeen.”

“You know when you see a silver cruiser in Maysville, you pretty much know that’s Maysville’s cruiser. Silver with blue decals, it pops out, so you don’t have to read that it says Maysville, you already know. So Aberdeen wants to be the same way, we want to be uniform. We want people to know that when they see that black cruiser and white cruiser with those blue decals on the side that they know it’s Aberdeen.”

“We tried to keep it simple,” he said, “but we also want to make sure it’s something distinctive, that doesn’t look like any other agency.”

An electronic sign that scrolls announcements for parents and students has added a new one: Wash Your Hands.

Due to concerns over COVID-19, all Kentucky schools, public and private, were told to close by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. Originally, Mason County Schools had planned to close until March 27. On Friday, however, Beshear recommended all schools remain closed until April 20.

Some students are worried the closure may continue for much longer, resulting in many missed opportunities.

Chambers said she became pregnant during her junior year of high school and missed out on time that she had been hoping to make up for during her senior year, including her prom and track season.

“I didn’t get my junior prom and now there’s a chance it could get canceled,” she said. “Me and my boyfriend won Homecoming Queen and King and, whether we won or not, I was looking forward to running for prom royalty. I wanted to get out on the dance floor to break it down and have fun with my classmates and even the friends that I have which are juniors.”

Chambers is also on the track team and said she is missing half of her season due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

“My daddy was a track star and i’ve been so dedicated trying to beat one of his records that without the practice I just don’t see happening. Track has brought me so many different friends in and out of Mason County. I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world,” she said.

“We have waited 12 long years to be able to walk across that stage in our cap and gown. We got the souvenir tassels,” she said. “We want to hear our names be called, we want to take the picture with our diploma, we want to move the tassel from the left to the right, and we want to cry with our classmates as that’s the last time we’ll step foot in that building for high school related activities.”

“I’m not the only one who feels this way. There are seniors across the nation that feel the same way I do and some may be even worse. We’re missing out on things we’ve looked forward to for 12 years.In 2016, we came in as freshman ready to hit that stage. Now it’s 2020 and it may not be an option. I love each and every one of my classmates and I feel for everyone around the world right now. To all high school seniors I just want to say, we are strong. We’ve done a lot of things and we will get through this. I can’t wait to say Class Of 2020 Out.”

Conner Brown, another senior at MCHS, said he is missing out on his last season of choir and orchestra.

“I’m heavily involved in choir,” he said. “As a senior, you look forward to those concerts and being out there with your friends, you look forward to prom and graduation. These are your milestones as a teenager. I’m worried that, if this continues, we won’t have the time together that we thought. We won’t get to say goodbye to our friends or walk across the stage — something we worked so hard for.”

Haley White, an MCHS senior, said she is filling her extra free time with working on college courses.

White plays tennis, basketball, golf, softball and runs track at the high school. She is also in the orchestra and several clubs.

“I don’t usually have much free time,” she said. “A lot of times, I’m not getting home until 8:30 or 9, so I’ve gone from coming home to sleep to being home all the time. It’s a big adjustment.”

White said she and some of her friends have the same concerns about prom, graduation and other activities.

“We know that no other class has gone through this, so there isn’t anyone who really knows what is going to happen,” she said. “We’re just looking to the future and praying about it.”

Bre Hampton, an MCHS senior said she is involved in softball, Red Cross and Future Farmers of America.

“I’m concerned about softball,” she said. “There has been talk that we won’t even have a season and I want to be able to get on that field one last time for my senior year. We were getting ready to play seven games this week and they all had to stop and over the entire month break that sports have to take off, we’re missing 20 games that we won’t get back. When we go back to playing we will either have to cancel more games or go into games without practice in a month.”

“Nobody wants the senior prom to be canceled and I’d rather it be pushed off even into the summer because this is the last time I’m going to be able to hang out and get dressed up with some of the kids I’ve grown up with,” she said. Graduation shouldn’t be canceled no matter what. I didn’t go to school for 14 years now to not be able to walk across that stage with my class.”

According to Hampton, much of her concern also lies with students who may not have the ability to complete the work assigned at home.

“I don’t like missing any school and I understand the severity of the issue going around, but some students don’t even have Wi-Fi or printer to print out any information or even supplies at home,” she said.

Mason County Schools Superintendent Rick Ross said he is not sure what the future holds, but he is committed to making sure the students have a prom and graduation.

“We are committed to doing everything possible to have a prom and graduation for these kids,” he said. “It may be much later than originally planned, but, as far as I’m concerned, we will have a graduation ceremony for them.”

At Robertson County High School, Andrew Unthank is missing more than just his senior year. He is also afraid he will miss out on an opportunity to present his school safety project at the Student Technology Leadership Program state competition.

Unthank, along with fellow senior, Wyatt Cooper, created a 3D map of RCS that can be used by first responders in case of an emergency. The two moved on from the regional competition late last year and were planning to go to the state competition this spring.

“I don’t know that it’s cancelled, but with everything that is going on right now, I don’t see us being able to compete,” he said. “You can reschedule prom and graduation, but what you can’t reschedule is the time with the friends you’ve made over the years. We don’t have a lot of that left with each other and we’re going to be missing out on the last few weeks we should have had.”

“As far as the safety project goes — we accomplished our goal,” he said. “Even if we don’t take it to state, the goal was to make the school safer and we know first responders will be able to use that map and I’m happy about that. I’m also using the weeks off school to spend time with my family. I’m going away to college in the fall and moving into a dorm room, so I’m going to be with them right now as much as possible. Being stuck inside, we can’t say we don’t have time for each other.”

Robertson County Schools Superintendent Sanford Holbrook said he is also working to make sure students have a prom and graduation.

“We understand this is difficult, especially on seniors,” he said. “The senior year is supposed to be a special time. We are going to do what we can to make sure they get the send off they deserve.”

Due to the current COVID-19 epidemic, Comprehend is expanding its Telehealth Service program so more therapists are able to provide counseling services to our clients. The service will be available beginning Wednesday, March 25.

This service is available to individuals who have a smartphone or computer/laptop/IPad with a camera and internet service. Once individuals call to set up a telehealth appointment, they will be given instructions on how to attend that appointment via telecommunications.

Comprehend realizes that the current state in which we are living can have a stressful and emotional impact on individuals. We are continually striving to stay on top of the latest guidelines and recommendations to keep our clients and staff safe.

“By expanding our Telehealth program, we are able to continue providing the services our clients need while limiting their exposure to other people,” said Dr. Pamela Vaught, CEO of Comprehend, Inc.

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include: fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones; changes in sleeping or eating patterns; difficulty sleeping or concentrating; worsening of chronic health problems; and increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.

“We have seen an increase in anxiety in both adults and children related to all of the uncertainty around this pandemic. We are available to assist anyone who may need behavioral health services during this time. Our first priority is keeping everyone safe while being the safety net behavioral health provider in our region, “ Vaught said.

People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.

Comprehend is here to help any individual experiencing an increase in these symptoms. If stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row, please give us a call. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 606-564-4016 or our Crisis hotline at 1-877-852-1523.

It’s no longer a matter of if; now it is when, Buffalo Trace Health District Allison Adams said Friday in regards to the possibility of the COVID-19 virus being found in our area.

While there are no known cases of the virus reported as of yet in Mason County or other Buffalo Trace counties, it is in Kentucky and its only a matter of time until someone locally is identified as having the coronavirus, Adams said.

Private lab testing is available in the area but there is a 3-10 day turnaround for results, Adams said. According to the Kentucky COVID-19 website, kycovid.ky.gov, testing has been performed on residents of all-five BTADD counties although none had been positive as of late Friday afternoon.

The message now being sent to the community is about social distancing, Adams said. Residents are being encouraged to “treat everybody as if they have it,” she said.

Hopkinsmedicine.org describes social distancing as deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19.

“That’s what we’re battling now,” she said, “those who think ‘it doesn’t apply to me.’”

It is also concerning that Kentucky stands near the bottom of the nation healthwise and those suffering from the underlying conditions that make them more at risk from COVID-19, such as diabetes and heart disease. Adams said.

She said she does not what residents to be afraid but she does want them to understand the gravity of the situation.

In addition to social distancing, residents should continue to practice habits first suggested when the virus was detected — hand washing, cover your cough and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Meadowview Regional Medical Center has also revised its visitors guidelines in the past few days. New restrictions require anyone entering the facility to be screened for respiratory symptoms and recent travel history, based on Centers for Disease Control and Protection guidelines. Each patient will be limited to one well age 16 or over visitor at a time.

Anyone experiencing any respiratory symptoms or who has a fever, will not be permitted to visit a patient, – even if they are wearing a mask.

The hospital gift shop is closed until further notice as well as the dining room and cafeteria for visitors.

”To protect the health and wellness of our patients, providers, employees and all those who enter Meadowview Regional Medical Center, we are implementing updated visitor guidelines for our facility, effective immediately and until further notice,” a post on the hospital’s web site reads. “These guidelines are to protect our facility and our community. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.”

Reducing in-house staff at city hall to minimize exposure and broadcasting commission’s meeting on Facebook Live are just two of the moves Maysville officials are making to cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

Maysville City Manager Matt Wallingford said non-essential staff will be reduced by 50 percent beginning Monday, to control any possible exposure to the coronavirus. The city is in the process of setting up remote computer access and call forwarding for cell phones so the employees can work from home, he said.

The move will primarily affect those who work in city hall, since they are the only ones who work in close quarters, Wallingford said. He plans to be on the job fulltime, Wallingford said.

The city closed city hall to the public foot traffic, except by appointment, earlier this week as a preventative measure.

“We are trying t limit the interaction between employees,” he said. “We are doing the best we can.”

Plans are also underway to close city commission’s March 26 meeting to the public and offer access via Facebook live and radio broadcast. The meeting will be open to the media, he said.

In other developments, Mayor Charles Cotterill has signed an order suspending operation of the city’s street sweeper which was scheduled to begin on April 1, Wallingford said.

Those in violation of the street sweeper ordinance regarding vehicle parking are given a citation and “with people laid off work, the last thing people need is a ticket.”

The city has also suspended its curbside recycling pickup. Inmate work release at the landfill has been stopped meaning recycled materials are not being sorted. Residents are asked to refrain from setting out recycling for the present. And on Thursday the county followed, saying it would temporarily remove all recycling bins.

Other agencies and offices closed to the public include Buffalo Trace Area Development District, Kentucky Career Center and Kenton Commonwealth Center.

Some area banks are closing their lobbies and encouraging customers to access their accounts online and to use ATMs when possible.

At the Bank of Maysville, drive-thru lanes at branch banks will continue to offer service. However, loan applications, new accounts, trust transactions and safe deposit boxes will be available by appointment only.

The branch lobby of Security Bank and Trust on U.S. 68 in Maysville will have limited access only for loans, opening new accounts and accessing a lock box. The main location on West Second Street will remain open as will its two drive thru locations.

Limestone Cablevision and Performance Broadband have joined other utilities and signed the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, in response to the current Coronavirus pandemic, officials said.

For the next 60 days the cable service will not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and will waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic. The company also plans to waive bandwidth limits for the months of March and April.

The executive committees of both the Mason County Republican Party and Mason County Democrat Party have cancelled their respective county precinct and county conventions set for this month.

Many organizations and agencies have cancelled or postponed events and meetings and closed doors to their facilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone planning to attend an event and visit an office should call before going.

RIPLEY, Ohio — The Village of Ripley has reached out to the seniors of the community during the COVID-19 crisis.

“As the impact of this global issue unfolds, we strive to help protect our customers and employees. If you or someone you know, 65 or older, are in need of help please reach out to the village,” a post to its Facebook page reads.

At the helm of this effort, Mayor Dallas Kratzer said he “felt like it necessary.” According to Kratzer, when a person calls, an officer will be dispatched to their location and they will evaluate the situation and reach out to the applicable organization that can offer the right assistance.

“We have a lot of elderly here and a lot of them live by themselves. They don’t have family, or anybody that can help them sometimes, and we just want to make everybody feel secure in their homes,” said Kratzer.

“We’ve never experienced anything like this in our lifetime — you don’t know what to expect, and you just have to take it one day at a time,” he said.

“They’re gearing up to help people any way they can. You got St. Vincent de Paul, which will give assistance in a lot of areas that the food bank can’t give it,” said Kratzer.

Plans to reopen the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge in Maysville this spring are on track now that work’s under way to fix its damaged cabling.

On Monday, contractors moved equipment onto the currently closed downtown bridge, which carries US 62 across the Ohio River between Maysville and Aberdeen, Ohio. Repair work will ramp up this week, and continue into April.

Repairs will include installation of temporary support rods and brackets at 19 locations adjacent to damaged suspender cables as a short-term safety measure and to hopefully return the bridge to a more normal weight limit while longer-term repairs are considered.

Work should be complete by April 15, after which bridge inspectors will survey the repairs to make sure the bridge can be safely reopened. If it passes inspection, engineers will reopen the bridge as quickly as possible but it will likely come after April 15. And, when reopened, it’s likely the bridge will be restricted to a lower weight limit.

In July, bridge inspectors found corrosion damage to several suspender cables – the vertical cables extending from the main suspension cable that support the bridge’s driving surface. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet lowered weight limits and put the bridge on a monthly inspection rotation and began planning temporary repairs.

In November, the cabinet awarded a $254,535 repair contract to Judy C. Harp Company, Inc., and the contractor began ordering bridge components and other materials.

The bridge was then closed to safeguard it from further damage – and protect the traveling public – after subsequent inspections found that the conditions of cables had worsened at several locations.

Until repairs are complete and it passes inspection, the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge will remain closed. All US 62 traffic should continue to detour using the William H. Harsha Bridge (US 68) three miles north of Maysville to connect to and from US 52 and US 62 in Ohio.

Beauty and barber shops, nail salons and fitness centers became the latest victims of the campaign in Kentucky to stop the spread COVID-19.

The closure of public-facing businesses was the latest move by Gov. Andy Beshear to try to hold the virus which has killed one Kentuckian so far, at bay.

Businesses providing food, food processing, agriculture, manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, retail, grocery and consumer goods, home repair/hardware and auto repair, pharmacy, and other medical facilities, biomedical and healthcare, post offices, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, and distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging are exempt from the order.

“It’s my job to protect my family and friends, but I believe it’s all of our civic duty to protect our communities,” Beshear said. “I will use every resource in this state, every dollar at my disposal, every personnel that we have, to do everything we can to protect everyone’s loved ones if we see a spike that is significant. Kentucky, we’ll need your help. We’ll need your help staying calm. We’ll need volunteers and we know you’ll respond. We will get through this together.”

Earlier in the week, Beshear ordered all bars and eat-in restaurants to close, allowing or drive-thru or carryout service to continue. That decision came on the heels of the governor’s order last week to shut down schools until the threat of the virus has passed. The Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court also closed the state’s court to the public last week. Few exceptions for trials and other legal matters were made.

By late Tuesday, the state had confirmed 27 cases of the coronavirus, with the majority of those located in Harrison and Jefferson counties. No cases have been found in the Buffalo Trace area. Testing in Mason, Fleming, Lewis and Robertson counties has been conducted on between 1-14 individuals, according to a graphic on the state’s COVID-19 site at https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19. There have been no tests administered in Bracken County, according to the site.

On Wednesday, Mason County Judge-Executive Joe Pfeffer said while county government will remain staffed during the health emergency, the county will limit access to maintain maximum social distancing “to provide for the health and safety of county employees and the citizens were serve.”

Pfeffer encouraged the public to visit the county’s website at www.masoncountykentucky.us or to call . For business requiring an in-person visit, residents should call ahead to the appropriate office for an appointment,

“We cannot allow crowds or long lines to develop in the offices. Therefore, please do not come to the Mason County Courthouse of other county offices with calling first as you may not be able to access for immediate assistance,” he said.

Limestone Family YMCA fitness facilities and pools closed Wednesday, in compliance with the governor’s order.

“This decision is extremely difficult because you are all a part of our routine, as we are yours; however, the safety and well-being of our members during this crisis must be our top priority,” officials said in a statement posted on Facebook.

The annual health fair at Meadowview Regional Medical Center organized each year by the Mason County Cooperative Extension Service has been postponed until the fall.

In Brooksville, the First National Bank cited the COVID-19 virus as the reason it has closed its main office and will operate from its branch location, it announced on its website.

Also in Bracken County, the county Animal Shelter is closed to the public in deference to the COVID-19 virus. Dogs can be seen or adopted by appointment only, officials said. Call the shelter 735-3475,

Mason County Schools Superintendent Rick Ross announced Joe Pfeffer was offered the position by the site based council recently. He is currently serving as the assistant principal of MCMS.

Pfeffer has worked as a middle school teacher and has many years of administrative experience in Ohio, according to Ross.

He is a former student of Mason County and graduated from Ripley Union Lewis Huntington High School. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Capital University and a masters of education in administration from Xavier University. He also holds a principal and superintendent licensure.

“I am happy to announce Mr. Joe Pfeffer as the next principal of Mason County Middle School,” he said. “Joe has previous principal experience in Ohio and has been a valuable contributor to the positive culture for kids at MCMS during his year as assistant principal. The site-based counsel accelerated the search because they were confident that Joe was the person for the job. He has demonstrated the critical characteristics they were looking for such as empathy, reliability, curriculum knowledge, and a love of children.”

Pfeffer will be replacing Justin Thomas, who was recently promoted to the position of Director of Pupil Personnel for the Mason County School District.

“I am excited about this opportunity given to me by Mr. Ross, but I am also sadden to leave the wonderful staff, students and families at MCMS,” Thomas said. “Mason County has been my home now for 20 years; nine years at Straub Elementary, seven years at (Mason County Intermediate School and four years at MCMS. I am blessed to be a Royal now and forever.”

With concerns over COVID-19 causing the closure of schools, entertainment venues, theaters and other businesses/centers, parents are having to find ways to entertain themselves and their children at home.

In Maysville, Andrew Lupercio, co-owner of Brown Bag Comics, suggested activities such as board games and comic books.

Lupercio said Magic! The Gathering is a good card game that he suggests to family members and there are also many board games that families can play together.

“Families can sit down and play board games,” he said. “Heroes of Dominaria is a Magic! The Gathering based board game. It’s an actual board game and not cards, so it would be good for families with kids.”

Sometimes, if you want to get a break from each other, you can sit down and get caught up on some of the great stories coming out from Disney,” he said. “Reading comic books is a good way to get caught up.”

Daniel Sammons, who owns EZ Cash and Pawn in Maysville, also suggested board games and comic books as a fun activity for family members, but he highly recommends reading in general.

“Read regularly,” he said. “It’s an educational and fun activity. And, reading comic books can help kids get more interested and excited about reading.”

As far as group activities, he said Dungeons and Dragons is a good activity to bring people together, but in smaller groups.

“DND is a good one to play, because you can have less than 10 people,” he said. “You can have your three or four players and your dungeon master. It’s a fun activity.”

There is a group of people in Augusta who are among those that have not let their DND group fade amid concerns over COVID-19.

Robertson County School District Basketball Coach Patrick Kelsch said he and his brother, Augusta Independent Principal Robin Kelsch, along with Robin Kelsch’s son, Tanner Kelsch, Conner Snapp, Jason Snapp and Roy Machen plan to participate in a Wizard’s DND marathon on Friday.

“We will definitely take advantage of the time we have now,” Patrick Kelsch said. “It’s been hard to get together during the basketball season because Rob, myself, Tanner, and Jason all coach and Conner played for Augusta. So now that we’re free, we will get together to play DND.”

Robin Kelsch said he and his brother have played since they were teenagers and now get together with the whole group about once a month.

“We started with the basics when we were about 13 or 14,” he said. “We didn’t really do much between 3.5 and 4, but around the time 4 came out, we started playing with a group of friends from high school and now, Mr. Machen — who does the (AIS) haunted house — he created a campaign and we all get together about once a month and play. On Friday, we’re going to start about 10 a.m. and play until who knows when.”

Patrick Kelsch said he and his family will enjoy the time they have to spend together through “food, fellowship, and saving the world by slaying one dragon at a time.”

Mason County resident Cathy Walston said there has been a lot of binge watching and volunteering in her household.

“I’ve been binge watching Hulu, volunteering for my church as we hand out and deliver food for students and the elderly,” she said.

Trish Elliott said she and her daughter, Jada, and stepdaughter, Aubrey, have been working on projects together.

“Aubrey, Jada and myself have made our own vanity and been having our own beauty salon,” she said.

Augusta Independent School released a list of family resources/activities that can be done at home while school is out.

The activities include fun math, an Authors Everywhere YouTube channel with videos from authors reading boards, a kids Yoga and a list of 50 activities parents and children can do together, as well as numerous other activities.

That list can be found at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CJ2eMgUImUmcfPOnr-dfP01TJIdY04DXpxtHi-4_6io/edit?fbclid=IwAR0FkW__13Rabp-Y2GIIhvstCPNZRJkY-8g6CtQ8oKabBFAWDykcecTkCAI.

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden has also started doing Facebook live videos as no visitors are currently allowed.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Late Monday night, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, MD, closed and effectively postponed the Ohio primary election under a health emergency.

Earlier on Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine had made the recommendation that in-person voting be postponed until June 2.

DeWine had hit a legality roadblock when the joint lawsuit filed alongside Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to postpone the election was rejected by Franklin County Judge Richard Frye.

Monday night, the three-page order to postpone the elections was signed by Acton. In the order, Acton enforced her authority to “make special orders for preventing the spread of contagious or infectious diseases.”

“I make this order to avoid the imminent threat with a high probability of widespread exposure to COVID-19 with significant risk of substantial harm to a large number of people in the general population, including the elderly and people with weakened immune systems and chronic medical conditions,” said Acton.

Polling locations gather a large number of people, which would contribute to the risk of transmitting COVID-19, health officials said.

“To conduct an election at this time would force poll workers and voters to face an unacceptable risk of contracting COVID-19,” she said.

Acton defined COVID-19 as being a respiratory disease that “can result in serious illness or death.” COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans and easily spread from person to person. The virus is spread between individuals in close contact — within six feet — through respiratory droplets produced when the infected person sneezes or coughs. It can also be contracted though surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus.

“We were completely in the dark up until 10:30 last night when the order came down to stop the election. We were fortunate enough that we had contacted our poll workers and not sent any of our poll worker supplies out yet. We had advised our presiding judges, our poll-location managers not to pick up until we give them further notice. We were able to contact all of our poll workers ahead of time and let them know what the situation was,” said Lewis.

Lewis said they are waiting for the secretary of state to provide further instructions on how to proceed.

Brown County Board of Elections Connie Ayers said what the secretary of state did was for the safety of the voters and the poll workers.

“I want to thank all of the poll workers that stepped up during this time. We had quite a few poll workers that cancelled out, we had a lot of people that stood up, students that pitched in, we had a lot of extra help, and I appreciate them very much, and the staff and the board for all of the hours every one has put in to make it a safe and secure election even though we didn’t have one,” said Ayers.

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FIRST TEAM Obi Toppin, Dayton, SO, 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 blocks, 1.0 steals, 63.3% fg, 39.0% 3-pt fg, 70.2% ft (65 of 65 first-team votes, 325 points). Luka Garza, Iowa, JR, 23.9 […]

Though a formal ribbon-cutting could not be held, Walgreens celebrated the official grand opening in Maysville on Friday. Though a formal ribbon-cutting could not be held, Walgreens celebrated the official grand opening in Maysville on […]

In a conference call to Kentucky school superintendents on Friday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear recommended public and private schools remain closed until April 20. Mason, Fleming, Robertson, Bracken County, Lewis and Augusta Independent School superintendents […]

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