SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Mayor Van Johnson says the Hostess City’s COVID situation has hit a “dangerous” plateau.
Over the past week, COVID-19 daily cases have been slowly decreasing but still reporting some of the highest totals ever. From the end of June until mid-August, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and community transmission rapidly increased. Then from mid-August on, daily infections are hovering between 174-250, according to the Coastal Health District.
“We’re at the plateau, the problem is the plateau is still at dangerously high rates,” Johnson says. “… Even if it stayed there we’re still ridiculously high.”
The same slow decline has been reported in hospitalizations and the community transmission index, which totals new cases per 100,000 residents. That number, 1005, is still high according to the Coastal Health District.
The county is reporting 219 current hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Last week, Johnson said he noticed largely maskless crowds packed indoors in the Hostess City, during the Labor Day weekend.
Monday, leaders in Savannah and Chatham County announced a vaccine incentive program for its employees. The program involves the City of Savannah, Chatham County, Savannah-Chatham County Public School System and Chatham Area Transit.
Johnson urged local businesses to come together and join their fight against the novel coronavirus.
“I think it would be, it would move the needle in a major way,” Johnson said. “From the four employers yesterday, that’s 10,000 people, assuming that 80% of them are vaccinated, that’s 8,000 people.”
Currently, 54% of Chatham County residents have received at least one dose and 47% are fully vaccinated. Those numbers are slightly higher than the Peach State’s overall total, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.