November 13, 2020 - COVID-19 Update: Current virus surge affecting region, nation
Public health officials in Georgia and throughout the U.S. have begun signaling an alarm as reported cases of COVID-19 are surging. This has many local and state governments reinstituting mask ordinances and other measures to increase physical distancing, reduce density in dining and shopping locations, and caution against travel. Experts warn that the cooler weather that will drive many of us indoors is likely to heighten risk.
This is especially true in Georgia, where cases are rising to "red-zone" levels again. While we saw a drop in our active cases over the last few weeks, we are now seeing a slight uptick as the county, state and region are on the rise. The Georgia Department of Public Health's Daily Status Report website shows that the surge is having only a moderate impact on Muscogee County, cases continue to rise in our border counties, whose residents travel to our county for medical and shopping opportunities.
As always, practical solutions exist to mitigate the risk of exposure. Chief among those is awareness and vigilance, while we continue to rely on your cooperation and support by:
- Self-reporting if you show potential symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for the virus, or are exposed to someone who may have COVID-19.
- Wearing a face covering not just on our campuses, but anywhere you go.
- Maintaining a six-foot physical distance from others, even in outdoor settings.
- Washing your hands or using hand sanitizers often.
- Avoiding large crowds and events — especially where others' may be lax about wearing face coverings and maintaining a safe distance from others.
- Reconsidering travel plans, especially if those include mass transit or your destination includes individuals considered a high-risk for infection due to their health situation.
- Considering how to make holiday gatherings safer and incorporating suggestions from the CDC.
- Getting tested seven to 10 days after those Thanksgiving travel and celebrations.
Together, we can continue to navigate this time of uncertainty and minimize health risks for ourselves and others.
I join President Markwood in thanking each of you for your perseverance and your patience as we continue to adapt and respond to the nuances of this pandemic. And again, thank you for all you do to show #CougarsCareEverywhere and for one another.
Dr. Chip Reese
Chair, COVID-19 Response Team and
Associate Vice President, Student Affairs