Yea: It's not every day that you see County Executive Jan Gardner and Sheriff Chuck Jenkins standing side-by-side in support of an issue. But then again, it's not every day that they and other county leaders get to make such an important announcement.
On Tuesday, they announced that renovations to turn a previously underutilized work-lease center off Md. 85 into a detox center have been completed. Jenkins in particular has been a long-time advocate for opening the 28-bed center, now known as Mountain Manor at Marcie’s Choice.
The need is real. Last year, about five people each week overdosed from heroin or a related drug. There were 59 drug-related deaths in 2020 as well.
“Please take advantage,” Jenkins said at the press conference. It was Jenkins who suggested using the work-release center as a detox facility in early 2018. “Please take advantage for your family member or yourself. Get the help you need. Get well so now we can start to count the lives saved rather than lives lost.”
We thank the sheriff and others who made this happen. We're glad this idea has finally become a reality.
Yea: Beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, gyms, wedding venues and a few other places got the green light to lift their capacity limits, thanks to a decision by the county Board of Health on Tuesday. And while we understand some who have trepidations about the decision, we're glad to see the progress.
Included in this decision is an expansion to allow public gatherings of more than 100 people, as long as someone in the group is designated to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing rules. In every situation, people must continue to wear masks and social distance.
With vaccinations on the increase, the Board is continuing to reopen the county. We get that some want to remove all restrictions, but honestly we're just not there yet. Over the last couple of weeks, the positivity rate has been on the increase, a sign that we're not out of the woods with COVID-19.
Still, these reopening decisions are good signs that we're getting closer to some normalcy.
Yea: Some more good news this week on the local front in the fight against the coronavirus: Frederick County is getting a mass vaccination site and eligibility for the shot expanded.
The county health department announced it would start scheduling appointments — as long as you register — for anyone 60 years of age and older. We hope that means there’s greater optimism that vaccine supply will continue to ramp up in the coming weeks.
And getting a mass vaccination site here in the county is huge. While details were still being worked out earlier this week, the goal is to open it the week of April 12. The county will still be responsible for organizing specifics, but a mass site means more doses coming to Frederick County. That means more and more of us getting that much-needed vaccine.
We’ll take it.
Nay: Sadly, that bit of good news doesn’t come without consequences.
According to a news release issued on Thursday, Frederick County continues to see a rise in new cases of COVID-19, as well as more deaths. The numbers continue to be jarring: 17,893 cases and 288 deaths now confirmed to have been caused by the coronavirus. That includes 10 deaths in the past seven days.
We know everyone is ready to return to normal, but now is not the time to let our guard down.
We can see that light at the end of the tunnel, but we need to remain committed to getting vaccinated, wearing our masks regardless, keeping socially distanced and washing our hands.
Yeas and nays is a weekly feature of quick-hit opinions from The Frederick News-Post’s editorial board. Send your suggestions to email@example.com.