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REOPENED RESTAURANTS LATEST: Kanawha, Putnam Health Departments to help businesses reopen

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Dr. Rahul Gupta, executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, which also covers Putnam County, is working on a plan to allow local businesses that were ordered closed because of water contamination to reopen.

Gupta said the safety and health of the community is of the utmost importance, but he also wanted to help businesses continue to function as much as possible.

"The idea is to ensure the business community and the economic engine continues in the best possible way it can," Gupta said. "We don't know when (clean water) is going to come back, and we don't want to suffocate the economic engine."

Gupta said public safety and health is the No. 1 concern, and he plans to have staff in place throughout the weekend to review business plans and allow ones that demonstrate they can reopen safely with outside water to do so.

"We hope to announce more specifics soon without compromising safety and health," he said.