LOGAN — Things are starting to get real for many in Hocking County, especially after Gov. Mike DeWine’s order Sunday for all residents to stay at home with the exception of “essential” workers.

With this in mind, people were once again rushing to grocery stores to gather more supplies. However, according to the information The Logan Daily News received, there’s plenty of food for everyone and no one needs to hoard. In addition, the stay at home order also allows for people to go grocery shopping from day-to-day, so it’s not necessary to empty the store shelves.

To add to DeWine’s orders, the Hocking County Health Commissioner Douglas S. Fisher has now ordered all transient rentals (cabin rentals) to close to the public as of midnight March 23.

Fisher ordered the closure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Hocking County. This is in accordance with the Director of the Ohio Department of Health’s order to stay at home issued on Sunday, March 22.

The order reads as follows:

I, Dr. Douglas S. Fisher, Hocking County Health Commissioner, pursuant to the authority granted to me in Ohio Revised Code section 3707, to make special orders for the preventing the spread of contagious or infectious diseases order the following to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the county of Hocking. This is in accordance with the Director of the Ohio Department of Health’s order to stay at home issued March 22, 2020:

• All transient rentals (cabin rentals), regardless of size or number of bedrooms, are to close effective midnight March 23, 2020 to the public. This is due to the renting of cabins, lodges and etc., not being an essential service and the service of providing rental cabins encouraging leisure travel, which is not essential travel.

RC 3701.352 states, “No person shall violate any rule the Director of Health or Department of Health adopts or any order the Director or Department of Health issues under this chapter to prevent a threat to the public caused by a pandemic, epidemic, or bioterrorism event.”

RC 3701.99 (C) states, “that a violation is a second-degree misdemeanor.”

This order is issued to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Violating the order presents a clear and present danger to the public’s health.

While the Hocking County Health Department’s lobby doors are closed to the public, they ask people to contact the office to make an appointment through email if possible. Email addresses are on the Health Department’s website.

The Logan Daily News reached out to Julie Duffy, owner of Irish Ridge Cabins, and asked how this is going to affect her over the next few weeks.

“I’m glad to have a few weeks of advised stay at home, but financially, it’s been horrible for a while especially with my large lodge and my friends’ larger lodges,” she said.

“I’ve been affected not just by worrying about my health by cleaning them, but people’s health by guests still coming to the Hocking Hills,” Duffy added.

To date, she’s refunded 15 guests; some prior to the mandate.

“People who absolutely live off of their cabin business will be hurt far worse than me,” Duffy told The Logan Daily News.

More than anything, Duffy said she and her cabin-owner friends are taking extra precautions to install cameras and will be monitoring the properties daily to make sure the cabins remain safe.

“We are taking extra precautions to protect our properties,” she concluded.

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