By Charlotte Smith
Many Bladen County residents are concerned about the COVID-19 outbreak. Local mayors offer policies, procedures, and positive outlooks on the situation.
Town of Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell said, “I think it is terrifying, but I think as long as we can keep it out of Bladen County and Elizabethtown, we are doing well.”
“It is my understanding we have eight people who have been tested with pending test results, so I don’t know how long we can keep it out of our area,” She added.
The town offices have been closed to the public and have limited access and we do have policies and procedures in place.
The Town of Elizabethtown has staff members in staggered shifts.
“One of our biggest concerns is our businesses,” Mayor Campbell stated, “We have relaxed a lot of our zoning requirements like the drive-through restrictions. We have also been calling to check on them to see if we may be of any help to them.”
“We have a wonderful town,” Mayor Campbell said, “The good part of this is it’s made us appreciate the things that we take for granted. Families are being drawn closer.”
In closing, Campbell added, “We call on everybody to do their part. We are going to weather this storm. The rules and regulations need to be practiced because they have been put in place for our own good. Pray for our country and love each other!”
Town of Bladenboro Mayor Rufus Duckworth, said, “We are glad we don’t have a confirmed case of COVID-19 here in Bladen County yet. We are making sure our employees practice social distancing by staying five to six feet away from each other. But, we’ve got to keep the water going and sewer going, these workers are essential.”
He continued, “The people in Bladenboro have been really good. The restaurants like Diamond Daves, Benson’s Grill, Dove’s, Hardee’s, and Subway are all practicing the guidelines put in place. We put three wooden crosses up downtown have put lights up on buildings and trees to try to lift spirits during this difficult time.”
He requested everyone to, “Keep praying we keep avoiding it.”
Town of White Lake Mayor Goldston Womble gave an update, “We have put into effect procedures and policies dealing with COVID-19 for all of our departments in the Town. We have safety precautions added to public works, police, and administration.”
“Town Hall is closed to the public,” He said, “We are fully staffed and operating, but the public access is by phone, drive-thru or email only.”
All the mayors said they are continuing to watch and listen to the Governor and the COVID-19 Task Force updates.
One last concern addressed were churches trying to meet still. Mayor Campbell said, “We called the churches that were planning on having church on Friday. We can’t plead with them enough not to meet in large groups.” She added, “We all need to be praying; this is a serious time. We encourage them to stay in as much as they can and practice social distancing. We can do a lot more from home than we thought.”
BladenOnline.com staff reached out to Mayor Perry Blanks of East Arcadia and Mayor Dale Dowless of Dublin, but at the time of publication, they were not available for comment.