SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Coastal Health District says the number of new coronavirus cases in our area appears to be “plateauing” but not declining.
According to their numbers, there has not been a two-week decline in new coronavirus cases, which is one of President Donald Trump’s suggested requirements for reopening businesses in a state.
Coastal Health District Director Lawton Davis says he trusts Governor Brian Kemp has data to back his decision to open certain businesses in the state.
“I think it would be presumptuous of me to second guess the governor,” said Dr. Davis. “I know the flu-like symptom visits to emergency rooms has dropped and that’s a good sign.”
Doctors like Davis and Memorial Health Dr. Maulik Patel agree that early decisions to cancel St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and close beaches may have prevented the area from becoming a hotspot, like many others throughout the state.
So far, Davis says he is thankful there have been no outbreaks in the Coastal Health District at nursing homes or jails.
The director says testing is improving in the district, though most are reserved for people showing symptoms and for first responders on the frontlines of the pandemic.
Davis says the Coastal Health District is testing people at the same rate as other districts in the state. For that reason, he says there may be a spike soon in coronavirus cases — but it does not necessarily mean the virus is spreading quicker.
Doctors say what happens next depends on how individuals act in the coming days and weeks.
“I would urge everyone in the community to continue to use those practices and those guidelines as much as possible,” said Patel. “Just because businesses are open doesn’t mean we need to rush to go to those businesses.”
If there is a surge in cases, Davis says Georgia’s Emergency Management Agency and National Guard are prepared to respond.
“Chatham County is the fifth-largest county in the state and so I think we would be high on the radar screen as a place to respond to quickly, should there be a resurgence of cases,” said Davis.
Some Department of Health employees will now go back to inspecting businesses that are allowed to reopen.