Henry County Commission Chair Carlotta Harrell and the Henry County Board of Commissioners issued a local State of Emergency at this morning’s regular BOC meeting in light of the alarming number of new positive COVID cases in Henry County. The local state of emergency is in effect for sixty days, subject to future extensions.
COVID numbers are on the rise in Henry County. Xavier Crockett, Emergency Preparedness Director with the Georgia District 4 Department of Public Health, gave a presentation to commissioners detailing the latest figures, relaying the somber news that younger populations are at the greatest risk.
He said presently only thirty-five percent of Henry County residents have received the vaccine. He added the Delta variant is more contagious and more aggressive than previous variants.
“The Delta variant spreads twice as easily and is more contagious. Seventy-eight percent of cases in Georgia are the Delta variant,” said Crockett.
Don Ash, Henry County Emergency Management Director said that on July 1, Piedmont Henry Hospital had 12 COVID patients with one in ICU. As of yesterday, the hospital has 72 COVID patients, with 20 of those hospitalized in the ICU.
Ash said that projections are that Henry County will have more than 300 additional cases of COVID by week’s end.
During his presentation, Crocket presented the latest CDC recommendations. He said the state is working diligently on outreach to get the word out on the importance of vaccinations and following CDC recommendations.
“The new CDC recommendation is for everyone to wear a mask, as the Delta variant is the most transmissible and aggressing variant to date. This includes masking for teachers, staff and students in all K through 12th grade schools, [because] we’re seeing an unprecedented number of children getting sick,” said Crockett.
The CDC also recommends community leaders to encourage vaccinations and masking to prevent further outbreaks in areas of substantial and high transmission.
“The fact is that 98 percent of all COVID related deaths in Georgia are unvaccinated people,” said Crockett.
Testing and vaccinations are free through the Georgia Department of Public Health. Testing occurs every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am to 3 pm at the Red Hawk Park. The park is located at 143 Henry Parkway in McDonough, across from the county admin building. The state is working to add more days, such as every other Saturday.
The Department of Public Health is vaccinating five days a week. The Health Department is located at 135 Henry Parkway in McDonough.
Finally, Ash said that anyone needing a ride for testing or vaccines can obtain free transportation through Henry County Transit. Call 770-288-7444 to reach their office.
Press release credit to Henry County Government, with minor edits for clarity. The featured image shows the Henry County Admin Building. Photo credit C. Carte.
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