The President’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again captured the headlines at the end of last week. He has established 3 phases for this process. Before we can exit Phase 1, the County has to demonstrate a steadily decreasing rate of infection, a health system capable of absorbing the effects of reopening, and the public health system being able to identify and rapidly contain any spread of the virus. Below is the link if you want to review the Guidelines
Although the virus is still spreading in the County, since April 1 the time required for the number of cases to double has slowed from every 7 days to every 12 days. I believe that there at least 2 reasons for his. One is the effectiveness of my Declaration of Emergency on 24 March which included a shelter in place provision. More importantly, it demonstrates the cooperation of the public in taking the necessary measures to practice social distancing and other measures.
On the second requirement, Wellstar has indicated that they still have capacity. We should make every effort to ensure it remains that way. “Flattening the curve” still remains the primary reason for all the steps we have been taking.
The third requirement is dependent upon the appropriate number of test kits and personnel to perform contact tracing. Insufficient numbers of test kits are a recognized problem in Georgia. The Governor has his plate full and I am confident that this is on it. From where the people will be sourced to meet the need for contact tracing is in the hands of the Department of Public Health.
The Governor’s Executive Order requiring sheltering in place is still effective until April 30th. As much as possible I want to complement the County’s actions with his. The County will be reviewing its policy on use of the parks this week. Now that we have a much better understanding of what we can do to mitigate the spread of the virus, there may be an option for limited use of the parks. I know that would be welcomed by many.
Finally, Judy and several of her friends have been making face masks for our public servants. I can’t count the bags of masks that I have delivered to employees at Cobb Public Health, Elections, and Public Safety. I know many of you are making a similar contribution in your own way. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. It is that attitude that exemplifies the spirit of America and what makes our nation so special.