Letter to the Editor: Open letter to Dare BOC chairman on visitor entry

Published 12:56 pm Wednesday, May 13, 2020

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Mr. Woodard,

Could you explain to me the rationale used to come to the decision on letting visitors in the county on May 16th? With restaurants only allowed to have take outs, limited food and paper products, workers afraid to go back to work, and many cottages that have not been prepared for the influx of renters, reentry seems premature to many people. Is the county prepared for the negative response of the visitors who come and find the services they have come to expect nonexistent? Is the county prepared to enforce the Phase 1 Plan the Governor has in place? If so, how does the county do that? Do you have a plan on how you are going to enforce the regulations? I know here on Hatteras Island no one is counting the number of shoppers allowed into the grocery stores, or the order to wear masks? If they are not adhering to the regulations now what do think is going to happen when there is an influx of visitors?

I am a business owner and have been severely impacted as most business owners in the county. However my fear and of many others is that by opening to early may cause a shut down in the future if the number of cases substantially increase. The Governor stated if we see a rise in cases we might have to back up from Phase 1. Does the county have a plan in place if that occurs? If so, what is it? I just don’t understand why the county could not wait a week or so to see the results of the Phase 1 implementations have on the spread of number of Covid-19 cases. If the number of cases spike and the Governor closes things down again we could potentially lose our whole summer of tourism. Seems to me and many others it would have been better to see the results of Phase 1 before deciding to let visitors in at this time. As the saying goes, better to be safe than sorry. But it seems the county is following the same protocols they use after Hurricanes, putting the dollar before common sense and safety.

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I have seen in your videos that you are responding to all emails. I hope to hear from you with the answers to my questions and any other info that might give insight to your current decisions. Thank you for your service to Dare County and stay safe.

Joseph Farrow, Jr.