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Commissioner tests positive for COVID-19

COVID-19 does not discriminate as it spreads across the nation infecting increasing numbers of people, including a local leader.

Lycoming County Commissioner Tony Mussare told the Sun-Gazette Tuesday he has tested positive for coronavirus.

Mussare, who has not attended the past three commissioners’ meetings, checked into Tuesday’s meeting remotely from his home.

“It is what it is,” he said. “We are on the downside.”

Mussare said he tested positive for COVID-19 about 10 days ago.

He has not been hospitalized.

However, another member of his family who also tested positive has been hospitalized and is in stable condition, according to Mussare.

He said he experienced some of the common symptoms of coronavirus, including loss of taste, coughing, and chronic fatigue and sleepiness.

Being infected, he noted, has been an “eye-opening experience.”

Mussare said he has appreciated prayers from well-wishers for his family.

In the meantime, commissioners discussed the seriousness of COVID-19 and how the county should deal with it going forward.

Commissioner Rick Mirabito said he felt county government scores about a “C” in how it has dealt with the coronavirus.

He noted the need for county employees to better follow county directives to wear masks, which protect not only themselves but those with whom they come in contact.

“The problem is employees are treating the mask directive as though it’s discretionary,” he said. “People have been sort of lackadaisical about wearing them. Department heads and top managers have to enforce the mask-wearing directive.”

Mirabito also called for commissioners to begin holding all public meetings in virtual sessions.

He recommended that any employee who doesn’t need to be at a workplace should work remotely.

Commissioner Scott Metzger, who along with Mirabito was wearing a mask at the meeting, gave the county a higher mark than that given by his colleague in its response to the pandemic.

“I say a B plus,” he said.

He noted that county officials have issued directives and made safety plans for buildings.

“The pandemic has taught businesses and government that we must have long-term plans,” he said.

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