‘What we’re doing is working’: CHD director provides COVID-19 update to Savannah City Council

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – With talk of reopening the economy coming from Washington, local health officials say it might not be time to take our foot off of the pedal.

Coastal Health District (CHD) Director Dr. Lawton Davis joined a special meeting of the Savannah City Council on Thursday to provide an update on the impact COVID-19 has had on the community.

Mayor Van Johnson asked what Davis thought about easing up on restrictions.

“My recommendation is that if what we’re doing is working, now would not be the time to stop doing what we’re doing,” the director said.

He said it’s not clear if the district is at the peak of its curve but said it appears case numbers have “sort of leveled off.”

“Maybe our social distancing is working,” Davis added. “That’s a good thing.”

As for testing, the director told the council, “We’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel there.”

New testing criteria is now in place to allow for local health departments to screen individuals and refer them for testing if needed.

Davis did say that the lack of personal protection equipment is holding up some local expansions like adding additional testing sites.

He said the racial breakdown of COVID-19 cases is about 50-50 with African Americans and Caucasians. The age range in confirmed cases stretches from 2 years old to 91 years old.

Davis said locally, there are slightly more females contracting the disease.

He added that the CHD has not seen any sort of clusters in Savannah.

“We have it on the west side, we have it on the south side, we have it on the east side and we have it in the middle and it’s all about the same,” Davis said. “We have not picked up on a true hotspot yet.”

The director applauded the city’s response to the outbreak, noting that there is still much to be learned about how it behaves.

Davis said they are seeing individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and “clinically” improved but tested positive again two to four weeks later.

“We don’t know for sure if some people just don’t clear the virus completely or if people are getting reinfected or if they just never really got well and this is a recurrence,” he explained.

“This is a brand new virus,” Davis said. “We’re still learning about it.”

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