Grassroots organization hands out 40 thousand masks in Bulloch County

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STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – Bulloch County EMA Director Ted Wynn says more than one thousand Bulloch County residents have tested positive for coronavirus since the pandemic began. The Southeast Health District confirmed hundreds of those positive cases in the last week.

“We’re going to need to roll up our sleeves because this isn’t going away any time soon,” said Jill Johns, a healthcare professional, and Co-Chair of Squashing the Spread Bulloch.

Johns says she and her co-chair started the grassroots organization after Bulloch County School officials strongly recommended masks instead of mandating them.

The group decided to pivot and normalize the wearing of face coverings in the community.

“If we can make it normal for teenagers to wear masks and for kids to wear masks…all of a sudden, it makes positive peer pressure for the behavior to change,” said Johns.

Johns, in addition to 10-12 other committee members, have been volunteering their time to hand out 60 thousand masks. Wynn secured the donation of masks from GEMA.

So far, Johns says the group has handed out 40 thousand masks through community drive-through events and canvassing in neighborhoods.

“I think people not taking COVID seriously enough,” said Wynn on the recent spike in cases.  “I think [it’s] people not wearing a mask when they’re out in public, not properly social distancing and not washing their hands.”

Wynn says the county is seeing 20-30 new coronavirus cases each day. An 11th person recently died.

“11 is too many. I hope that’s our last one, but I don’t anticipate it will be,” he said.

If you are in need of a mask, Squash the Spread is holding another drive-through event this Saturday at the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau in Statesboro from 9 a.m. to noon.

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