Free face masks will be available this weekend for those who need them. The masks will be distributed by local volunteers whose goal is to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Fifteen new cases of Bulloch residents testing positive for the coronavirus appeared overnight, bringing Thursday’s total to 561, said Ted Wynn, director of Bulloch County Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency.
The locations where the masks will be distributed have not yet been determined. Bulloch EMA secured 10,000 masks this week to give to lower-income, disabled or other people in need, he said. The Bulloch County Health Department also received a shipment of masks, which were donated by the Hanes corporation, Wynn said.
“Bulloch EMA is working with (Statesboro Mayor Jonathan) McCollar’s ‘Statesboro COVID-19 Community Response Team’ and ‘Squashing the Spread Bulloch’ to distribute masks at various locations this Saturday from 9 a.m. to … noon,” he said. The locations will be finalized and announced Friday.
The number of deaths of Bulloch County residents from COVID-19 complications remains at four. There have been 42 patients hospitalized due to the virus, and on Thursday, East Georgia Regional Medical Center staff was caring for 18 COVID-19 positive patients, with five of them on ventilators, he said.
Between Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, Bulloch County EMS transported one confirmed COVID-19 positive patient, bringing the total transported to 39 probable cases and 32 confirmed cases to date.
Wynn said face masks worn in public protect others as well as yourself, as the coronavirus is spread by moisture droplets expelled through such things as sneezes and coughs. This is also why social distancing is recommended. COVID-19 also survives on surfaces, which is why health authorities urge people to wash their hands, wipe down surfaces with disinfectant, and use hand sanitizer.
“If you are sick, stay home,” Wynn said.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.