Ohio County commission president says employee travel order is ‘for their protection’

WHEELING, W.Va. — Ohio County Commission President Tim McCormick believes the mandate put in place by the county for employees in regards to COVID-19 is the right thing to do, even if a few people are not in favor.

McCormick recently signed an emergency temporary COVID-19 pandemic outside travel policy for employees of the Ohio County Commission and/or workers for a court entity in the City-County Building in downtown Wheeling.

The mandate includes employees going on vacation or going anywhere 100 miles or more from the Ohio County Courthouse to get tested for the virus upon return and stay at home for 48 hours. McCormick said the county is not disapproving of vacations but only playing it safe.

Tim McCormick

“We have a couple people who are not quite happy with it but this is for their protection and protection for fellow employees and families. The circuit judges are in favor of this so we are going to move forward with it,” McCormick told MetroNews.

Any person to test positive for the virus must stay home and self-quarantine for two weeks, according to McCormick. Employees may opt-out of testing for the virus when returning from out of town but they must notify the Ohio County Health Department and self-quarantine for two weeks.

McCormick said the building recently saw one employee test positive for the virus, who had a child return from Myrtle Beach with it.

“People who are leaving the state, going on vacation, a lot of folks are coming back and bringing the COVID with them. What we are trying to do is to keep that from spreading into the courthouse,” McCormick said.

Employees must notify the local health department before leaving on vacation, the order stated. McCormick said because Ohio County is close to the border of two states, travel right across would not require testing. It’s meant for any trips requiring multiple overnight stays.

The 48 hours of quarantine returning from vacation must be used as sick time or vacation time, according to McCormick.

The mandate was put into place on July 1 and there is no set date to lift it. McCormick said the county has continued to put employee’s health first during the entire pandemic.

“Our building is open, you have to have a mask on,” he said Monday before Gov. Jim Justice’s mask order. “We have drop boxes outside each elective office. If you have mail, bills to pay or information, you can just put it in the dropbox. You don’t even have to go in the office.”

As of Tuesday morning, Ohio County reported 109 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 25 being active.

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