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Posted on: July 10, 2020

Oconee County COVID-19 Conference Call Joint Statement July 10

On Friday, July 10, Chairman John Daniell participated in a conference call with area healthcare providers and hospitals. Below is a joint statement that was issued following the conference call:

This afternoon, we held another conference call update with our local healthcare providers and the Department of Public Health for the latest information locally on COVID-19.

We are continuing to see an increase in cases in this area and around the state. While not where we were at the height of the first wave, we’ve seen a significant uptick. The seven day rolling average has begun to plateau, so we remain hopeful we’ll begin to head back in the right direction. Over the last several weeks, many hospitalizations had been as a result of nursing home patients. However, we are now seeing more community spread resulting in hospitalizations.

There’s a greater range in age of patients that providers are seeing. There is an increase among younger individuals who are testing positive (although not necessarily among hospitalization numbers). These younger patients are increasing the spread, and this remains an important area of focus to reduce community spread.

Fortunately, our providers are better prepared than ever to treat COVID-19. Less patients are ending up in ICU and less patients are requiring ventilators. While there are reports of local hospitals nearing ICU bed capacity, most of these patients are not COVID-19 related. Our hospitals continue to have the ability to expand ICU bed space as needed, but that has not been necessary to date.

Testing has once again become an issue with labs seeing much more demand and a limited supply chain. All hands are on deck to improve turnaround time, but it remains an issue at this time.

Overall, the best thing we can do is continue to social distance, wear a mask, wash our hands, and be smart. These efforts will help those most vulnerable among us and ensure we’re able to slow the spread of COVID-19. Thank you to our healthcare heroes who remain on the front lines - our community appreciates you so much.

Mayor Kelly Girtz

Mayor Dodd Ferrelle

Chairman John Daniell

Senator Bill Cowsert

Senator Frank Ginn

Representative Spencer Frye

Representative Houston Gaines

Representative Marcus Wiedower