The Accomack County Board of Supervisors met Wednesday for a work session to take on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. They heard from Jon Richardson from the Eastern Shore Health District who told the Board that the current case count is around 429 cases. Richardson said that approximately two thirds of the cases are either at the poultry plants or among family members or those close to poultry workers. Richardson said that the outbreak at Tysons has leveled off and the case count at Perdue is still growing but not as rapidly. Richardson said that a representative of the CDC has been in the area since last Wednesday and she has reported verbally that at this time she hasn’t observed anything at either plant that is unusual and at this point does not have any suggestions as to what the plants can do above and beyond what is already being done further to improve the situations there.
Richardson said that the Health Department is holding a free drive thru community testing event that is scheduled this Friday and Saturday at Eastern Shore Community college, the results of which will give the Health Department a better handle on the penetration of the virus in the community.
Emergency Services Director C. Ray Pruitt told the Board that EMS transports to Riverside went down over last year in the month of April. Pruitt said that patients who would normally have been transported to the hospital were reluctant to go because of fear of the corona virus and the message that was sent out requesting patients not to come to the Emergency Room. Pruitt also said that Riverside is distributing some corona virus patients to other Riverside facilities in order to maintain space in case more space for patients is needed here.
Pruitt said that he is trying to keep 8 EMS units and the two Sprint units in service at all times. He also said that EMS personnel do have adequate PPE and are able to wear them on all calls.
Supervisor Robert Crockett asked County Administrator Mike Mason how the overall finances for the county were holding up. Mason said that collections as of now were doing ok but that the real effects of the crisis won’t become apparent until late May or early June.
Supervisor Ron Wolfe asked if the tax bills would go out as usual even though the deadline to pay has been moved to August. Mason said that the bills would be sent out at the usual time and hopefully some tax payers would go ahead and pay them which would help the county’s finances. Supervisor Wolfe said that some of his constituents wanted to go ahead and pay as usual so they would not face two payments closer together.
When asked if there was a chance the December tax deadline could be postponed as well, Mason said that the software being used would allow that to happen if that Is what the Board desires to do,
Several Supervisors thanked Mason for keeping the county operating smoothly even if many of the offices are closed to the public. Mason said that county services are available to any that need them during this time.