EXETER, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – Luzerne County officials are ramping up their efforts to respond to COVID-19 concerns. The county manager held a news conference Wednesday morning to update residents on its response.
The county has been under a state of emergency since Sunday afternoon. On Wednesday, more steps were taken in an effort stop the spread of the virus.
A skip loader carried boxes of breathing masks to the front of the offices of Kuharchik Construction in Exeter. They are being donated to the county. They will be used by county employees such as children and youth caseworkers who have to enter homes on a daily basis.
“Once again, the citizens of Luzerne County are taking care of our own, making sure people are taken care of,” said Dave Pedri, Luzerne County Manager.
“When we realized this is not about making money or opportunity, this is about life and death. Some of the statistics are actually startling about how widespread this is going to be,” said Robert Bresnahan, CEO of Kuharchik Construction.
Later in Wilkes-Barre, a security officer asked the I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick,
“Have you been out of the county?” To which Andy replied “no.”
Officer: “Any respiratory illness?”
Officer: “Have you been exposed to anyone with the virus?”
Andy: “Not that I’m aware of.”
Everyone entering any county building, such as the Penn Place Annex will be asked those same questions.
“So they are mostly forthcoming. If they are sick, they tell me they are sick, they are not able to cone into the building,” said Officer Dana McMonigle, county security.
At the main courthouse several blocks away, signs greet courthouse visitors. They are required to enter through the rear door, the only door where the public can gain access.
Yahsin Pace of Wilkes-Barre took it in stride.
“If the courthouse is doing it, I know it’s a big deal. Go to the rear of the courthouse, I didn’t know what that means. I know everyone is taking precautions. As soon as I saw that I said okay wow it’s a big deal,” said Pace.
Many county employees say they are very concerned about COVID-19, but that concern will not stop them from doing their jobs.