SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - As we prepare to kick off the holiday weekend, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is touring the state Friday, flying to several locations to encourage people to be safe and smart during the Labor Day holiday weekend.
Savannah was one of four stops on the governor’s tour.
During a news conference with Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, Governor Kemp pointed out that following holiday weekends earlier this year, the number of COVID cases and related deaths spiked across the state because too many people simply let their guard down. He said as a state, we have come too far and sacrificed too much to lose ground in the battle against COVID-19, and renewed his call for all Georgians to do four things this fall.
“One, continue to socially distance yourself. Number two, if you can do that, wear your mask. Continue to wash your hands, clean surfaces and use those best practices that we have talked about during the entire pandemic. And finally, please follow and let’s enforce the existing guidelines that we have that was developed by our public health officials in the executive orders that we have,” Gov. Kemp said.
The governor also pointed out that includes a ban on large group gatherings, safety measures for businesses and restaurants, and a shelter-in-place for those medically fragile.
Rewatch the entire news conference below:
“I fully realize that Georgians are very tired, and ready to move on from the pandemic. I know that I am. And we are ready for a vaccine sooner rather than later. But in light of that we’ve got to continue to bunker down and keep choppin’,” said Gov. Kemp.
Governor Kemp did give Savannah area businesses credit for how well they’re following safety guidelines, calling Savannah one of the safest places people can travel to.
“The Governor said it himself, our numbers here are better than other places in the state. And you can draw that directly to the fact that Savannah had a mask ordinance before anybody else in the state,” said Mayor Johnson.
This morning, Coastal Health District Director Dr. Lawton Davis told County Commissioners he credits local mask ordinances on creating a smaller spike in cases after the July 4th holiday than what it could’ve been.
“I think personally that it was significantly mitigated because it also hits about the time you would expect to see a beneficial effect from a mask ordinance. And you can see that we have just steadily come down since that time,” said Dr. Davis.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and Governor Kemp are encouraging Georgians to have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend while following Four Things for Fall COVID-19 prevention measures: