NEW BERN – A county in the western half of the state made a statement Wednesday by indicating it would buck the executive edicts of Governor Roy Cooper and allow businesses to reopen. The caveat was that the statewide order still stands, after all, and county officials must follow the law. The day before that came a different approach from a county in the eastern part of the state.
Craven County commissioners sent a letter to Cooper last week, asking that he allow the county to begin reopening and citing the low impact of COVID-19 on their communities.
“[…] Chairman Tom Mark told WITN Tuesday that the letter was submitted to the governor last week but they have yet to hear back from him or his office.
Mark says they recognize the restrictions are critical to slowing the spread of the virus, but believes the county has the leadership to be able to make the proper decisions about what can be reopened, and what that process would entail.
Mark says, “There’s going to be some restaurants that aren’t going to be able to open. I’m sure that some of the barbershops and beauty parlors, some of them won’t be able to open or they’ll go out of business. And we’re concerned about that. I mean these are people, small businesses that are important to the economy of our county.”
Craven County has 38 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with four deaths, and 28 individuals recovered. There have been no new cases reported in the county since Friday. […]”
The story is the same in dozens of counties around the state where the coronavirus impact is underwhelming, and the costs of shutdown policies alarming. Craven County’s approach may be different than that of Gaston County, but it sends a similar message to Cooper: ‘Your Stay-at-Home order is killing us; it’s unnecessary for our communities; and, our people deserve their freedoms back.‘
Governor Cooper and his Health Secretary Mandy Cohen keep giving lip service to the pain and suffering that the one-size-fits-all shutdown policies are having on North Carolinians, but then turn around them and ask them just to hold on a few weeks more, ‘We’re in this together.’
We imagine that’s not very heartening to the business owner that whose return to business will be beyond reach in a few weeks, or those wondering how they’re going to pay their bills and provide for their family.
Making matters worse, Cohen acknowledges that there are businesses open and operating safely in all 100 counties, and that they hope to expand the number of businesses that get the golden permission slip from King Cooper. The Cooper administration brain trust must stop half a step before arriving at the logical conclusion that all businesses could be open and operating safely in these communities.