Coastal Health District gives update on increasing COVID-19 cases in Chatham Co.

Coastal Health District gives update on increasing COVID-19 cases in Chatham Co.

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - As of Friday (11-20), Chatham County has reported 200 deaths from COVID-19 and 10,244 cases.

That number is up 57 cases in the past 24 hours. Leaders say as we head into the holiday season we are seeing more and more infections in our community.

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, health officials are warning us of the increasing number of COVID cases right here in Chatham County.

“Cases are nationally just skyrocketing in many places and we’re beginning to see that here. I don’t think that we have any reason to expect that we’re going to avoid a surge or a significant increase here in Coastal Georgia,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, Director of the Coastal Health District.

Looking at the numbers, nearly every metric has increased from percentage of positive tests, to the daily case rate and community transmission index. These numbers had the commission chairman Al Scott reinforcing the importance of the county’s mask mandate.

“I urge all citizens, please, please wear masks when in public and do whatever you can to avoid large crowds,” said Scott.

As we are just a week away from Thanksgiving, Dr. Davis explained that large indoor family gatherings are considered risky because of the virus.

“I would remind you that multi-generational gatherings such as little grandkids and grandma and grandpa and people in-between are felt to be risky because the children are much more likely to be asymptomatic and yet they certainly can spread,” said Dr. Davis.

Dr. Davis says the interest in testing throughout the county has increased, but they have enough test kits and staff. As they look towards the future they are preparing for when the FDA approves a vaccine and say the county will be able to safely store it and distribute.

“Local hospitals will be able to provide it, local providers can sign up to be able to provide it you know we’ll have it but we won’t be the only game in town,” said Dr. Davis.

While they are getting ready for the roll out leaders expect a phased approach and predict it will take until at least late spring/summer of next year for widespread availability.

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