POINT PLEASANT — The City of Point Pleasant announced on Monday its annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony are canceled this year due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Based on the spike in cases, the mapping moving us (Mason County) to orange, along with the recent loss of lives in the community, we need to be more cautious to slow the spread,” City Clerk Amber Tatterson told the Register on Tuesday. “We had hoped to have some normalcy for the holidays, but we must be safe too.”
Both the tree lighting and parade typically attract large crowds, which congregate. Large crowds and congregating in tight spaces are both issues health officials from the state to national level have discouraged during the current pandemic.
In October, Point Pleasant City Council voted to proceed with the annual Christmas celebrations, tentatively approving to hold the parade and tree lighting on Friday, Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. However, also during the October council meeting, it was decided that on Nov. 23, city officials would then evaluate the “color” of the county. During the meeting, many council members suggested if the county was designated higher than “green” or “yellow,” the Christmas events should be canceled. As Tatterson noted, Mason County is currently “orange” on the state map.
In the last week, there have been 110 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Mason County and three additional deaths reported by the Mason County Health Department.
As reported by the Register today, the Mason County Health Department reported 376 total cases (since March) on Tuesday, 12 more than Monday. Of those, 141 cases are active and 226 are recovered.
Neighboring counties in the Ohio Valley Publishing readership area are also reporting increased COVID-19 cases prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Gallia County Health Department reported a total of 292 active cases on Tuesday morning. The health department listed a total of 709 cases since March, although it noted that all cases from Nov. 22-24 were not included in the update. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) reported a total of 735 cases in Gallia County during it’s Tuesday update. ODH has stated in recent days that thousands of tests are pending review leading to delays in reporting.
In Meigs County, 15 additional confirmed cases were reported, bringing the county’s active case total to 112 as of Tuesday afternoon. A total of 427 cases have been reported in the county since April.
Beth Sergent contributed to this story.
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Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.