Savannah mayor says ‘people are tired’ but COVID-19 fight isn’t over


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Savannah Mayor Van Johnson held a press conference Tuesday morning to give the latest update on COVID-19 and the city.

Johnson touched on CARES Act funding and reminded everyone to vote, but for the first time in a few weeks, he sounded the alarm about COVID-19 infections.

“People are tired, people are stressed out, they are so over COVID-19,” said Johnson.

He added that “COVID fatigue” couldn’t come at a worse time.

We are about a week away from one of the biggest holidays in Savannah, and infections are climbing.

“Halloween on a Saturday in Savannah just amps everything,” said Johnson. ” I mean you see all kinds of stuff, and we recognize that the behavior might even be more risky.”

Over the past week, COVID-19 infections in Chatham County saw a 40 percent increase from
the week before.

The percent of tests coming back positive is also up jumping, from 5.7 to 6.1.

Johnson says our community transmission is the highest its been since October, sitting at 156. 8, which is considered the “red zone.”

Watch Johnson’s full press conference:

“This is real, and we are only a few infections away of really being back at that red level that we’ve worked so hard to get beyond,” said Johnson.

He says we are beginning to see a second wave and the behavior of visitors needs to change.

The mayor says he’d like to see tour companies double down on mask requirements. He also says with such big crowds downtown, enforcement is challenging.

“It’s a bunch of folks, you know,” said Johnson.”We are going to step up enforcement on things we can immediately control, which is I’ve seen more and more tour companies that are not doing the right thing.”

He added: “and citizens are sending us pictures.”

Johnson urges citizens to avoid traditional trick or treating and large gatherings in the coming weeks.

The mayor will give his State of the City address tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. WSAV NOW will be streaming it live online.

The coronavirus pandemic will be one of many topics he will address via Zoom. Citizens can still submit questions via the city’s social media or website.

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