‘It feels irresponsible’: Officials react to decision to move forward with Bridge Day

FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – “Bridge Day will move forward.”

That’s the decision from the Bridge Day Commission to go ahead with Bridge Day 2021. But not everyone is on board for Bridge Day to come back after it was canceled last year, including Fayette County Health Administrator Terri Harlan.

“It feels very irresponsible to bring this many people here,” Harlan said.

Commission Chairman Becky Sullivan is also against the decision. She’s nervous there are more negatives than positives for having Bridge Day.

“I voted to have the event canceled,” Sullivan said. “So, I do not feel good about the vote.”

This healthcare worker on Zoom says with hospitals running out of room, bringing nearly 100,000 people to the area is dangerous with COVID-19 numbers on the rise. Harlan agrees. She’s seen the stress hospitals and healthcare workers have faced over the past couple of months.

“The scariest thing though, right now, is that we don’t have hospital capacity,” Harlan said. “And not just for COVID patients.”

Sullivan knows Bridge Day is a big economic boost for the area. Small business, hotels and vendors look forward to the event every year because of the financial benefit. But they also know the dangers of holding Bridge Day this year.

“Even though it is an economic boost, they understand the insecurity of safety for the event,” Sullivan said.

The commission will ask the state for help in executing Bridge Day and will meet weekly up until the event for preparation.

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