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Guest column: Don’t get lax as county reopens
Carter Infinger
Carter Infinger is chairman of the Bryan County Commission.

I hope this finds Bryan County residents healthy and feeling cautiously optimistic as we continue to navigate the unprecedented waters of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s phased reopening is firmly under way now and, locally, I’m seeing businesses, entities, and other organizations start to pick back up.

While it is encouraging to see people resuming certain facets of everyday life, there are a few very important things we all need to remember. The reopening is happening with a lot of guidelines and restrictions still in place, and we must continue to be extremely careful. Social distancing (maintaining six feet of space between individuals) is still in effect. Mask wearing is highly encouraged, as is regular handwashing and sanitizer use. Though we are allowed to be out and about a little more, now is certainly not the time to get lax with your personal safety.

COVID-19 is not gone – not by a long shot. Though we’ve succeeded in flattening the curve, things will only continue in that direction if we continue to diligently practice all the safety protocols put in place to protect us. Though a vaccine is being developed, it’s still a ways off. In the meantime, the best way to keep illness at bay is to heed the advice of medical professionals, infectious disease experts and use common sense.

Please be patient with local businesses and workplaces as they implement procedures they are required to follow in order to open their doors. Many are obligated to do temperature screenings and multiple cleanings per day. Some will require people wear masks when they enter, which is their right and I hope you will respect it. The rules and added measures have been put in place solely for our safety.

I hope you’ll continue to patronize local shops and restaurants, as many small business owners were really set back during the shelter-in-place order.

They could use our support now more than ever, so let’s do all we can to show our appreciation and help them through this tough time.

I want to thank the residents of Bryan County for their patience and willingness to work with government officials and leaders throughout this ordeal. I know it hasn’t been easy to comply with the orders, but Bryan County is a unified community and our compassion shows as we consider the health and wellbeing of others as well as ourselves. Please continue all the practices and efforts that have so far proven successful in battling he virus – do it for yourself, your family, your friends and your neighbors.

We’ll continue to provide updates as often as we can and as new information is released to us. Gov. Kemp has been holding regular press conferences, which I urge you to watch. Check in regularly on the county’s social media for announcements, link to the governor’s press conferences and executive orders, relevant news and other developments. We’re still in this together for as long as it takes. Stay well.

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