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State Rep’s message: Been actively involved

As your state representative I believe it is important that the people I serve know that I have been, and continue to be, actively engaged in the battle against COVID-19 in Columbiana County.

Due to my position, I have had the unique opportunity to be a part of the inner circle of high-level video meetings with decision makers including the top tier of federal, state, and county officials. The CEOs, presidents and chief medical officers of a network of hospital systems, the commander of the Ohio National Guard, the Bureau of Prisons, and the state and county departments of health leadership have all been a part of these meetings as well.

I have witnessed firsthand in these daily meetings the communication between these leaders regarding the COVID-19 situation in the federal prison in Elkton. And the lines of communication do not close in between video conferences. There are calls and emails flying back and forth between hospital systems when any new developments take place, or a prisoner is needing hospitalization.

I only tell you this to alleviate fear and dispel the false rumors that the beds of our local hospitals are going to be filled with sick prisoners leaving no room nor medical equipment for the citizens of our county.

This very subject has been discussed at length and a plan has been implemented that insures this will not happen. A “super-network” of hospitals has been created by the governor to handle any surge, including the prison at Elkton.

From this point forward, prisoners needing hospitalization will be assigned to hospitals over the region, relieving the local hospitals in Columbiana County. As recently as a few minutes prior to writing these words the representatives of the hospitals located in our county assured us that the plan is working.

In this highly charged atmosphere false rumors spread more rapidly than the virus. What we all need to do is personally follow the guidelines that have proven to help keep us and our families safe. Also remember to pray for those who are on the front line working to save lives at the risk of their own and rest assured that your public servants have your safety at the top of their priorities and are doing a fantastic job on your behalf.

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