Editor’s Note: The following is a letter sent to the county commissioners following their vote Sunday to close down all the county beaches

Thank you for making the wise decision today to close the beaches of Franklin County.

As a resident of Franklin County, and a retired physician with a background in microbiology, I applaud the expansion of your initial step on Saturday in protecting all the people of the county.

Understandably, most who spoke against this clear choice were of the business community with natural concerns about their, and their employees’, wellbeing.

I have a suggestion for your consideration as you brainstorm ideas to further protect our community while striking some balance with protecting our economy. The Tourist Development Council generates considerable money. People will continue to come to vacation, and eventually the "norm" will resume. What about asking local banks to provide a low, or even no-interest, temporary loan to the community as their contribution to our welfare, against future TDC monies? This, along with monies apparently coming from the federal government, would help to relieve some of the economic stress. The "devil is in the details," of course, but this might be an idea worth considering.

Doing all you can to provide for the safety of those who you serve is paramount. This virus is for real and its transmission, like all infectious diseases, is clearly related to the density of people gathering and the measures taken to minimize contamination.

Thanks again and stay safe. Maintain physical distancing and wash those hands.


Richard A. Mitsak, M.D.