HUNTINGTON — With each of the three Tri-State governors issuing stay-at-home orders over the past week, rumors have swirled on social media about Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia shutting down bridges in and out of the states in an effort to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus across state lines.
However, several officials have taken to social media and other outlets recently to deny such rumors. As of Wednesday, residents of the three states will still be able to travel across state lines for their essential business, such as grocery shopping or to receive medical care, or to go to work at an essential business.
When West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice issued his stay-at-home order Monday during a public address, he said the borders would stay open.
“Let me tell you a little bit about what a stay-home order is. I’ll start with what it is not,” he said. “A stay-home order is not martial law. It’s not going to be that somebody is going to come lock you in your home. It’s not that we are shutting down the state borders. It’s not that we are closing any bridges or roads.”
Ohio officials have said any such announcement on their side of the river would be made by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine during his daily public addresses. Lawrence County commissioners said they would only act on closing the border if directed by DeWine to do so.
“The crisis brings continual, rapid change and decisions. We continue to monitor the crisis in order to pass along to you verified and vetted information,” they wrote on Facebook.
Eric Chaney, Boyd County judge executive, took to Facebook on Saturday to also dispel those rumors, stating he was in constant communication with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration and public health officials and such an order had not been made.
Chaney said it was important for the public to pay attention to legitimate media organizations and announcements from the Kentucky governor and President Donald Trump for COVID-19 news.
“Every evening we provide an update on actions taken and any further actions that are to take place. This update is a coordinated effort by every entity involved in this crisis,” he said. “If you do not see it on that update, straight from the governor’s office or from the president’s COVID-19 task force, consider it false.”