As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Rockingham County, Elkton Town Council voted Tuesday to close the Elkton Area Community Center and Town Hall for 30 days starting today.
The decision to close, however, was not unanimous. Councilman Randell Snow was opposed.
During Tuesday’s meeting, council members heard from former mayor Wayne Printz, who voiced concerns over the Elkton Area Community Center being open while council meetings held in the same building were closed to the public.
Before 2020 ended, town staff announced council would revert to hosting meetings virtually until further notice.
The decision was made due to an increase of COVID-19 cases in the area.
By the time council met on Tuesday, the Virginia Department of Health reported that Rockingham County had surpassed the number of positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths compared to Harrisonburg.
“The cases in Rockingham County are outpacing the city now,” Town Manager Greg Lunsford said.
As of Wednesday, Rockingham County reported 5,121 COVID-19 cases, while Harrisonburg reported 5,084 cases.
Lunsford told council members that cases in the Elkton ZIP code were up by 700 recently.
“It’s a sharp increase,” he said. “We have 12 public works employees in quarantine right now.”
Lunsford made a recommendation to close the EACC and Town Hall for 30 days starting today. The closure will allow more time for residents to get vaccinated, he said.
“The virus is not at its peak yet,” he said.
Councilman Jay Dean agreed to close the EACC and Town Hall as long as the closure is re-evaluated after 30 days.
Dean also voiced support for the vaccine, saying, “Everyone needs to take their vaccinations.”
“I want to be vaccinated,” he said.
Newly elected Councilman Troy Eppard and Councilwoman Heidi Zander both expressed support for the 30-day closure.
Snow was the only council member to oppose it.
“We are talking about a disease,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of people survive it.”
The recommendation to close the EACC and Town Hall carried, 5-1.