Mayor Johnson taking local approach to decide when to open Savannah

Mayor Johnson taking local approach to decide when to open Savannah

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Thursday, President Donald Trump announced a multi-stage approach to revive America’s economy.

And Friday we’re hearing from local leaders about the White House recommendations, and what that could look like closer to home.

Mayor Johnson says for us locally, he believes more testing for the virus should be available first, adding a blanket solution won’t fit everybody.

“It has to be a local approach, and then a regional approach," said Mayor Van Johnson.

As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were initially felt in the Savannah area, Mayor Van Johnson, those on council and city staff have pushed for health-preserving regulations like business closures and social distancing guidelines that were in many aspects more strict than other areas of Georgia.

“It is extremely difficult, extremely heart-breaking. However, we recognize and we can universally agree that human life above all is the most important thing. And so I’m not willing to sacrifice that until it is absolutely clear from the medical evidence available that it’s safe to do so.”

Mayor Johnson says he hopes leaders at the state level and above talk to decision makers at the local level before making any decisions about what can reopen, and when.

“We can not open too quickly for the benefit of economic impact, but yet lives are lost in this. We only have to look at Daughtry County and Albany, we only have to look to New York to see that people are still dying because of this pandemic.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp tweeted this after the President’s announcement and after a conference call with the Coronavirus Task Force and other governors.

He said “The Peach State will continue to prioritize our citizenry’s health and well-being. In the coming days, I will outline how Georgia will move forward. Many Georgians are ready to get back to work, and the fundamentals of our economy remain strong. I am confident that we will successfully rebound from this public health emergency.“

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