Mayor says ‘everything is on the table’ to address COVID-19 rise, multiple shootings still unsolved

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — COVID-19 infections are rising in the Hostess City after months of decreasing infections and shootings seem to be piling up.

Recently, the coronavirus seems to be making a comeback. The community transmission currently sits at 93 new infections per 100,000 residents.

This increase over the past 12 days is considered a moderately high transmission of the novel coronavirus, according to the Coastal Health District.

“If we get back into the 90s … the masks could be reinstated,” Johnson said. “And to that end, we might even impose capacity limits as well.”

The city continues to take COVID-19 seriously and will do whatever it takes to protect residents from the disease as he proclaimed “everything is on the table.” A mask advisory was implemented in Savannah on June 2, encouraging unvaccinated people to wear masks and fully vaccinated to remove them.

Although Johnson cautioned the possibility of reinstating restrictions he said vaccination is still the best method to fight the virus. Johnson said 95% of Savannah residents aged 65 and over are fully vaccinated.

Chatham County has administered nearly a quarter-million vaccines, full vaccinating 41% of residents and 45% with one dose, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s vaccine dashboard.

“We brought the first lady of the United States here. I mean it’s that important,” Johnson said.

As shootings pile in Savannah with no arrests made, Johnson offered reassurance to residents and businesses that the city remains safe. He pointed to the Savannah Police Department’s high clearance rate as evidence of that. The clearance rate takes the number of charges dished out by police departments divided by the number of outstanding cases.

“It doesn’t happen in 48 hours. It looks cute for TV but the reality is that things have to be pieced together and again, encouraging the community to come forward and speak helps us as well,” Johnson said.

Police Chief Roy Minter also said the police department continues to receive tips with information about last month’s mass shooting that claimed two lives and injured six others. The case remains under investigation and a $10,000 reward is offered for anyone with information that leads to an arrest.

“It’s very reassuring,” Minter said. “We’re seeing individuals who are coming forward, not necessarily for the reward fund but because they know it’s the right thing to do.”

Watch the full press conference below.

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