All of us in Daviess County are feeling the effects of this health and economic crisis.

Since the beginning of this crisis, your local government has been in constant contact with the state, federal, county and health care officials to ensure our community is as compliant as we can (or should I say as compliant as you will let us) be. We all have to do our part.

Our city manager and the department heads have been doing all they can to continue to deliver the services you have come to expect.

Our fire department has implemented stage five of their contingency plans to be as prepared as possible.

Our police department is doing their job as always, but dispatch has moved to a tiered response policy for calls. While they will continue to respond to calls for service, they may change the way they handle some calls. The OPD also remains in contact with the judicial system as it pertains to arrests.

Our public works department, which includes sanitation, has temporarily suspended yard waste collection to allow that workforce to focus on trash collection, due to the expected increase in volume of garbage. You will see our street department and other associated workers going about the community in their normal fashion.

Our transit hours have been adjusted to reflect ridership.

Our engineering folks have split into two shifts to increase coverage.

The parks department is following state guidelines to comply with social distancing.

City Hall is closed to the general public. Anyone needing to conduct business should call CityAction at 270-687-4444 or email cityaction@owensboro.org to determine how to best handle specific processes.

What a great band of brothers and sisters working for our community. We are in good shape for now, but things can change quickly as our numbers increase as they have recently. Speaking of numbers, I will share these thoughts with you.

The numbers lag or accelerate according to the test results and the timing involved in getting the results. This is primarily because of the multiple commercial labs and the multiple providers submitting samples to them. Some results are coming back in as quick as 12 hours while others are taking 2 weeks. This relates to the labs’ workload and demands.

The incubation period can be as long as 14 days and it takes several days before some feel bad enough to seek medical attention.

The Health Department is trying to reflect the numbers in their messaging with the best information as they see it.

We need everyone’s help in mitigating this event, to pay attention to the medical experts, and realize we will see more cases.

Please keep the faith, practice social distancing, and stay at home if possible.

Pray for the healthcare workers, public safety workers, all the folks that keep their shelves stocked like grocery stores and pharmacies, and give a big thumbs up to the truckers that bring in the goods.

God bless and be safe.

Tom Watson is mayor of Owensboro.

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