we conclude a full month of social distancing and several weeks of a state of
emergency, I’d like to offer our residents a few words of encouragement and
praise. I know this is not an easy set of circumstances to contend with. The
COVID-19 pandemic is more or less unprecedented in modern day, and yet, our
residents and first responders are reacting as if we’ve had time to practice.
Most folks have done a great job of adhering to Gov. Brian Kemp’s order to
shelter in place, and they are to be commended. Our first responders are still
out there, putting their lives on the line every day to try and keep our
population safe. For the most part, none of this has been done before – at
least not in recent history – so I’m proud of the fact we’ve all quickly fallen
into a routine designed to preserve our health.
Despite all that our county (and others around the state) are doing to flatten the curve, the Georgia Department of Public Health announced that Georgia’s confirmed-case count for COVID-19 rose to 13,315 by noon Monday, April 13. Hospitalizations rose to 2,586 and deaths to 462. As of noon Monday, there were 287 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and eight deaths reported in the eight-county Coastal Health District, which includes Bryan County.
In light of that news, it’s easy to feel discouraged and wonder if this is worth it. It absolutely is. It takes weeks of having precautionary measures and new policies in place before a change will become apparent. Keep in mind that some COVID-19 victims may have the virus for up to two weeks before the even begin to show symptoms. So, some of the cases being diagnosed now likely were contracted before heavy restrictions were issued statewide.
Keep doing what you’re doing. Practice meticulous social distancing; only leave your house when it is absolutely necessary; wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer in between (but not in place of) hand-washings. It’s important that we continue to follow all guidelines right now. By doing so, we’re doing our part to ensure our local healthcare system does not become overwhelmed. Undoubtedly, this will save lives.
So, thank you for patience and your trust. I can assure you that Bryan County’s elected and appointed leaders are doing all we can to make the safety of our families our top priority. But we need your continued cooperation and support. The rules work best if everyone follows them. We may all be apart right now, but we’re certainly stronger when we all work together.
Infinger is chairman of the Bryan County Commission.