Fourth of July fireworks are still on, but city officials encourage residents not to return to ‘business as usual’

BUCKHANNON – Fourth of July fireworks are still set for Sunday, July 5.

At Buckhannon City Council’s most recent meeting, Thursday, June 18, Mayor David McCauley delivered an update on the status of the event, which he said would be “very sensitive to social distancing requirements.”

McCauley laid out the plan for Independence Day fireworks as part of his update on COVID-19. The celebration is slated to take place at approximately 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, July 5, with children, families and residents who wish to attend remaining “within or immediately beside their cars,” McCauley reiterated.

The mayor said city officials are working with local businesses “on a master parking plan” for the event.

“As reported previously, city representatives are continuing to work with businesses around the launch site to create a master parking plan accommodating those desiring to attend,” McCauley said. “Thus far, Citizens Bank, Community Bank and CVS have offered up their parking lots for the festivities, and we thank our collaborative business partners as always. We will attempt to secure more parking partners during the next couple of weeks.”

“Our event will be very sensitive to social distancing requirements,” McCauley added.

At the outset of the meeting, McCauley announced there was some late breaking news with a couple new cases of COVID-19 in Upshur County. He cautioned residents against acting as if life had returned to normal.

“There really are no new restrictions at this juncture, nor restrictions to relax,” he said. “However, I sense that many folks are treating things as though we’re back to business as usual. Such could not be any further from the truth. More than 1,000 people are dying every day in the United States from this virus, including folks right here around us.”

As of Tuesday, June 23, two Lewis County residents have died, and 2,582 Mountain State residents have contracted COVID-19 from the coronavirus. In addition, as of Sunday, Upshur County has recorded a total of 11 cases, with seven of those classified as active. According to data maintained by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. still has the most cases in the world, with about 2.3 million people having suffered from the disease, and more than 120,000 people having perished from COVID-19 or its complications.

McCauley urged residents to “please take extra daily sanitation measures such as mask-wearing to reduce threat of exposure,” washing their hands, not touching their faces and checking on older adults or immunocompromised individuals.

The mayor encouraged older adults and vulnerable people to consider taking advantage of Walmart’s new online grocery shopping option (grocery pickup service) that will be available July 29, according to previous reporting.

“Our city will continue to follow the mandates and recommendations from Governor Justice and state and county health officials,” McCauley said. “This remains a very highly fluid situation. We are currently experiencing virus spikes in our region. We continue to be all in this together. Folks, we still have a long way to go to get past this crisis. Please, follow the science and pray for the vaccine soon.”
In related news, during council’s meeting, Public Works Director Jerry Arnold announced bulky goods pickup – which was suspended due to the pandemic – will resume Friday, July 10.

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