Virus safety precautions are essential for a return to normalcy

The daily local COVID-19 case count increase is posted on the Donalsonville News Facebook page

Seminole County’s positive COVID-19 case numbers continue their daily rise, as local medical personnel, first responders, and residents 65 years and older begin the process of receiving the long awaited COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,  has predicted things will get even worse before they get better – even with the arrival of the vaccine. 

Medical experts are asking everyone to double down on the uniform wearing of masks, the physical distancing and the avoiding of congregate settings in crowds, particularly indoors, and get vaccinated when the vaccine becomes available to you. 

Brenda Turner, RN, Infection Control at Donalsonville Hospital said, “We are hopeful that with more and more of our employees, seniors and community members about to get the COVID-19 vaccine that we are heading in the right direction. However, vaccines are only a part of the fight against this pandemic.  Your best protection from COVID-19 will be a combination of getting a COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a mask, staying at least six feet away from others, avoiding crowds, using hand sanitizer, and washing your hands often. No one tool alone is going to stop the pandemic.”

The vaccine, experts say, is, “not a substitute for the normal, standard public health measures of wearing a mask, keeping your distance, avoiding congregate crowded sections, and particularly indoors. It’s not a substitute, it complements it.”

Jeff Holley, MD, and Family Physician,  added, “None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently being offered in the United States uses the live virus that causes COVID-19. You may have symptoms like a fever after you get a vaccine. This is normal and a sign that your immune system is learning how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19.” 

Fauci also said that there’s no running away from the numbers. It’s something that we absolutely have to grasp and get our arms around and turn that inflection down by very intensive adherence to the public health measures uniformly throughout the country with no exceptions.”

Chuck Orrick, Donalsonville Hospital Administrator, added, “Our healthcare heroes here at Donalsonville Hospital continue to test for, treat, and triage COVID-19 patients. We are seeing an increase in positive tests in our community. The urgency in asking everyone to follow the CDC guidelines for social distancing and mask wearing is the strain that COVID-19 is putting on the bigger medical centers that surround us. We do our best to treat and care for everyone that walks through our doors but when medically necessary we do transfer patients to bigger hospitals for additional care. The healthcare pipeline is essential for emergencies as well as the pandemic. With everyone doing their part our hometown hospital can continue to take care of the needs of our community.”

As of Wednesday, January 6, twenty-four new positive COVID-19 cases were reported for Seminole County by the Georgia Department of Public Health since this time last week. 

Since March, Seminole County has now been recorded with 577 positive cases, twelve of which, sadly, have resulted in Corona-virus related deaths. 

Thirteen positive COVID-19 cases have been reported locally so far in January, and eighty-six positive cases were reported here in the month of December.

As of Wednesday, January 6, since March, there have been 597,208 cases of COVID-19 statewide – out of 5,945,000 people tested – and 9,966 deaths reported to state health officials. Since this time last week, 280,877 additional Georgia residents have been tested, with 50,349 of them testing positive for COVID-19. During that same time period, the state’s number of COVID-19 related deaths increased by 254.

Note: The 577 confirmed case number for Seminole County IS NOT a total of the number of ACTIVE local cases, but rather, as stated above, a cumulative total of individuals testing positive in Seminole.

Seminole County Public Health Department director Penny Horne confirms that ALL numbers reported daily on the District and State’s Public Health Department websites  DO NOT include double counted positive cases. Each person is counted only once, even if they have had several positive tests.

The number of active, or recovered cases is not reported by the Georgia State Department of Health, and all numbers are reported under the person’s county of residence.

Keep doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 . . .  Wear a mask in public. Wash hands regularly and continue to sanitize everything. Stay six feet apart smart, and stay home if you are symptomatic.

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