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Coronavirus Update - April 11

We just wrapped up another conference call update with both hospitals and other local healthcare providers. This week, we were also joined by the Department of Public Health.
Fortunately, we are seeing good news locally and cases continue to be managed. Social distancing is making a significant impact, and our providers ask us to continue to follow the guidelines put forth by our federal, state and local officials. Should a surge occur, our local providers are prepared.
While overall we are seeing a leveling in cases, there are a couple areas of concern. Across the state, we're seeing an increase in cases in nursing homes. This could result in more hospital demand. The state is actively working with these facilities to slow the spread. Secondly, we're seeing more rural counties with increases in cases. Again, overall, our providers feel we are well prepared at this time.
Our hospitals have the supplies necessary, but are preparing for further need. Testing remains limited due to supplies, and all are actively working to increase capability. Both hospitals have made plans to increase ICU bed capacity as necessary, but have not had to do so to date and are in a good position with available space.
We heard again from our hospitals that more homemade cloth masks would be extremely beneficial - especially of a larger size. If you're able to create and donate these masks, please visit this website to learn specifics - piedmont.org/media/file/COVID-Cloth-Facemask.pdf. They can then be dropped off at either hospital and will be a great help.
Finally, we know there have been many questions about specifics on the publicly provided data on the number of cases by county. We asked DPH about these numbers and how we can all work together to get even more specific information out to the public. Unfortunately, there are many reasons for lags in reporting and/or changes in the data. As DPH receives information, the data is updated and/or fixed accordingly. We all believe the more information and data we can get out there, the better which is why we continue to work together and with our providers and other state and local partners.
This Easter weekend, let's continue to keep those on the frontlines in our thoughts and prayers. And let's maintain the great progress our community has shown by continuing to social distance. Together, we will defeat this virus and emerge stronger together.
Mayor Kelly Girtz
Mayor Dodd Ferrelle
Mayor Bob Smith
Chairman John Daniell
Senator Bill Cowsert
Senator Frank Ginn
Representative Spencer Frye
Representative Houston Gaines
Representative Marcus Wiedower

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