Wayne County’s commissioners have penned an open letter urging the opening of the county and state for economic reasons.

This letter comes while cases of COVID-19 continue to increase with a rate of growth at 3% nationally and 5% in Ohio.

Their plea comes at a time when Wayne County leads the state in mortality rate. The U.S. leads the world, by far, in active cases.

We have not yet reached the peak, and case numbers per day are not yet declining. The decline will be signaled by a negative sign before those growth rate percentages. Based on current weekly changes, this change from positive to negative growth will take three to four weeks in Ohio.

Opening up to a new normal should be a top priority. To do so without sacrificing members of our community will require increased testing and increased contact tracing. Ohio needs to expand its testing capacity dramatically.

Our county health departments need to expand personnel trained for contact tracing. Perhaps our commissioners could write a letter explaining steps that they have taken to help expand local testing capacity and help the County Health Department add personnel and technology to facilitate tracing. Taking these steps would signify a commitment to economic reopening.

David Francis

Wooster