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Coronavirus Update - April 26th

We just completed another conference call update with local healthcare providers and want to relay to the community the latest updates.

Overall, our numbers remain stable, and we continue to see a decline in ICU and hospitalized patients. Patient intake is not as volatile - another positive step. Per the Dept. of Public Health, as of noon today, we have 123 confirmed positive cases in Clarke Co. with 13 related deaths, 53 positives in Oconee Co., 108 positives in Barrow Co. with 3 related deaths and 73 positives in Jackson Co. with 1 related death.

In terms of PPE and supplies, our providers report they are in a positive position and have the necessary supplies at this time. Testing continues to ramp up significantly. However, with some providers, we continue to have issues with a lag in reporting times, so we must continue to focus on that. Importantly, we are now testing patients with any symptoms and many healthcare workers and other first responders without symptoms - a huge step forward.

We want to specifically highlight the work of the UGA/AU Mobile Clinic - they are doing great work in our community and providing testing in underserved areas. The Mobile Clinic hotline is 706-308-4092, and they are working to cover areas of the community where there are potential cases - particularly in underserved communities.

Our healthcare providers will gradually begin to resume elective operations. Many of these operations are critical that have been delayed for weeks, and it's important that these patients now be able to be seen. The hospitals are taking strict measures to ensure the health and safety of all patients.

Finally, we want to reemphasize the important of continuing to use common sense. There's no doubt what we've done has made a difference. We must continue to be smart - wear a mask when in public, avoid gatherings, wash your hands, cover coughs and continue to social distance.

Much progress has been made. Together, we'll continue to win this fight and move our community forward.

Mayor Kelly Girtz
Mayor Dodd Ferrelle
Chairman John Daniell
Senator Bill Cowsert
Senator Frank Ginn
Representative Spencer Frye
Representative Houston Gaines
Representative Marcus Wiedower

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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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Coronavirus Update - April 5th

We just completed another conference call update with our two hospitals and other healthcare providers in the area. Our providers continue to be prepared and have plans for ensuring our community has the resources it needs throughout this fight against COVID-19.

Our hospitals are regional hubs and continue to see local patients and those from around the region. As of noon today, we have 62 confirmed positive cases of Clarke County residents with 8 COVID-19 related deaths, 24 positives in Oconee, 25 positives in Barrow with 2 related deaths, and 15 confirmed positives in Jackson Co.

Testing remains limited and continues to be focused on those at most risk and our healthcare workers. Our providers have the supplies necessary at this time, but are preparing for further need as the number of cases continues to increase. Both hospitals have made plans to increase ICU bed capacity as necessary.

We heard from our hospitals that more homemade cloth masks would be beneficial. If you're able to create and donate these masks, please visit this website to learn specifics - https://www.piedmont.org/media/file/COVID-Cloth-Facemask.pdf. They can then be dropped off at either hospital and will be a great help.

Tonight, community members have put together a Caravan of Care - where the community will show appreciation for those on the front lines. The caravan will meet in the parking lot of the Homewood Village Shopping Center at 6:30 PM. For more information, please visit http://facebook.com/events/654873395298710.

We all stand ready to assist in any way possible throughout this time of need. We remain in regular communication with each other, our healthcare providers, local businesses and workers - we are all in this fight together.

Mayor Kelly Girtz
Mayor Dodd Ferrelle
Chairman John Daniell
Senator Bill Cowsert
Senator Frank Ginn
Representative Spencer Frye
Representative Houston Gaines
Representative Marcus Wiedower 
 

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Coronavirus Update - April 1st

Wintervillians-

The next 2 to 3 weeks look to be the most critical as we continue to fight the Corona Virus.

The more we sacrifice now, the sooner we can all regain some sense of normalcy. We are all part of the American family and one loss is too many so let's do our part as Wintervillians to protect our family.

Please stay home and stay well!

Mayor Dodd I. Ferrelle
City of Winterville
125 North Church Street
Winterville, Georgia 30683

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Coronavirus Update - March 29th

We just completed another update with our two local hospitals and other healthcare providers in the area. Based on this call, we want to provide the community with several updates.

The most important is this - our healthcare providers in the Athens area are prepared. We all know the number of cases is going to increase, and we may see a surge - but the hospitals and our other providers are ready.

Testing capacity and response time for results continue to move in the right direction. One of the most significant challenges in addition to limited testing is waiting times for results. Fortunately, we anticipate much quicker testing results over the next several days - which will also significantly help with PPE supplies.

The Georgia National Guard has deployed medical officers to the Athens area to provide additional support, as well, and we thank them for their continued service to our state and community.

Many have reached out about providing support to those on the frontlines - whether it's food or supplies. For Piedmont Athens Regional, please contact Libby Hayes at libby.hayes@piedmont.org, and for St. Mary's, please contact Ansley Martin at ansley.martin@stmarysathens.org. We're also seeing a continued need for blood donations. Please consider visiting redcrossblood.org and donating blood.

Congressman Jody Hice also joined us and provided an update on the federal level. His office stands ready to assist our hospitals in securing necessary funding and working with others requesting funding as part of the recent federal relief package.

Finally, as always, we are all here to assist in any way possible. We know these are extremely challenging times, but we're confident we will emerge from this battle successful and even stronger as a community. We're incredibly grateful for those on the frontlines - let's all continue to lift up our healthcare workers as they lead this fight.

Mayor Kelly Girtz
Mayor Dodd Ferrelle
Chairman John Daniell
Senator Bill Cowsert
Senator Frank Ginn
Representative Spencer Frye
Representative Houston Gaines
Representative Marcus Widower

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Coronavirus Update - March 22nd

While the City of Winterville fully supports the Athens Clarke County Mandatory Shelter in Place Ordinance, we have not adopted the ordinance within the city limits due to the differing circumstances possessed by our respective municipalities. That being said, this is another critical week and we strongly recommend that you do SHELTER IN PLACE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. FOR THIS REASON, CITY HALL WILL BE CLOSED MONDAY AND TUESDAY AS WE MONITOR THE SITUATION.

The City of Winterville is and will continue to fulfill its legal duty to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the community and we encourage you all to follow the CDC guidelines. Please practice social distancing, take steps to protect yourself, your family and your friends from this virus. By doing this we can do our part to minimize the long term impact of this pandemic.

Thank you all and please stay safe.

Mayor Dodd I. Ferrelle
Mary Quinn - Mayor Pro Tem / Winterville City Council
Gary Snow - Winterville City Council
Brenda Keen - Winterville City Council
Amanda Mooney - Winterville City Council
Wendy Bond - City Clerk

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Coronavirus Update - 3/21/20

We just finished a call with several local healthcare providers, including both hospitals' CEOs and chief medical officers, and based on this call, wanted to provide a brief update on where we are in the area.
The most significant update is a new testing option set up by the Department of Public Health. This option is focused on patients with moderate symptoms. In order to set up an appointment for testing, please call 706-340-0996. Piedmont continues to have its drive thru testing site as well, and patients can call 866-460-1119 to be screened and set up an appointment. For St. Mary's, please call 706-389-3000. These options are by appointment only - no drop ins accepted.

Overall, the numbers in the area are being managed. To date, from the last DPH published positive cases at noon, we remain at 10 in Clarke, 1 in Oconee & 1 in Barrow. Results are taking several days to return and testing remains limited, so again, we anticipate larger numbers in the community and will continue to see an uptick as more testing occurs and results are returned. Those who test positive or believe they have symptoms must follow the CDC's self quarantine guidelines even if symptoms are minimal.
Both hospitals are also implementing a limited visitor policy and are screening all entrants. Again, if you show any symptoms, please call - do not just show up. Many elective surgeries and procedures are being pushed back, as well.

One of the most important things we can do as a community is support our healthcare workers - please keep those on the front lines in your thoughts and prayers. We are fortunate to have great healthcare workers throughout this area. This is a taxing time for them, and our community's continued support will help us defeat this virus.

As we continue to move through the fight against COVID-19, all of us stand ready to assist. Please reach out anytime, and we will certainly continue to keep you updated.

Mayor Kelly Girtz
Mayor Dodd Ferrelle
Chairman John Daniell
Senator Bill Cowsert
Senator Frank Ginn
Representative Spencer Frye
Representative Houston Gaines
Representative Marcus Wiedower 
 

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