Keeping a corn maze open during the coronavirus pandemic

Local News

The corn is some of the best grown by David and Cindy Berry in several years.

The owners of Tom’s Maze had to decide to plant in May. A time many businesses were still closed in Ohio.

“You can’t wait until the last minute to find out on corn,” Cindy said.

“Yeah there’s a lot of money involved just in getting the corn to grow, putting it in the ground, and that’s money we would have been out if we didn’t get to open,” David said, “so we’re blessed.”

Social distance signs we’re placed around the farm to remind visitors to stay six feet apart.

“People are really respectful of each other,” David said. “It’s been going on so long that everybody is used to it now.”

Opening weekend was missing an attraction.

“We have a human Foosball,” Cindy said. “We didn’t put that up because we don’t have a large employee staff, and so we just knew we wouldn’t be able to keep it sanitized like we should.”

The maze is able to continue for the 23rd year.

“We’ve been coming to Tom’s corn maze for many years. It’s a tradition at this point,” Nick Moshos said.

Moshos son Luke recently joined the family tradition the last two years.

“It’s very important to keep some normalcy in life. We can’t all just hide in our basement all the time,” Moshos said. “You got to get outside and enjoy the fall weather.”

The maze covers eight acres with three miles worth of trails for visitors to spread out across.

“Be respectful of each other. Stay apart from each other. Keep that six-foot distance, that’s the biggest thing for us,” David said.

David said the crowd really picks up in October.

“In a corn maze where there will be lots of other people especially kids it would be best to of course wear your mask at all times since you’re going to be walking past people and it’s fairly narrow spaces,” Kettering Health Network Patient Safety Officer, Jeffery Weinstein said.

Weinstein said the biggest concern this fall is students going back to school.

“We’ve seen some cases here and there from some of the schools that have been publicized, but I suspect there’s a lot more cases in the schools than we know about,” Weinstein said. “Unfortunately, we’re not going to really know about them until kids, or teachers, or parents, or other contacts get infected.”

Weinstein is also worried about trick-or-treating.

“People are going to have to take precautions. The masks, distancing, all of those things are going to be important because when lots of kids and parents are you know out their on the streets and maybe gathering on people’s front porches if they don’t have their masks on that’s going to cause a potential for outbreaks to occur,” Weinstein said.

Recent outbreaks in Florida, Arizona, California, and other sunny states leads Weinstein to believe the virus can still spread easily on days with higher UV Index.

“They’re having outbreaks,” Weinstein said. “So the sunny warm weather did not seem to cut down on virus transmission like we had hoped that it would last spring.”

Influenza spread will also increase during the fall. Weinstein said it will be critical to get the flu shot this year.

“If Flu and COVID are active in the community at the same time, number one, it could make you very sick if you get both at the same time,” Weinstein said. “Number two they’re hard to tell apart for the physicians and health care providers.”

Weinstein said wearing a mask and good hand hygiene will also prevent the spread of the flu.

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