(CANTON, Georgia, Jan. 8, 2021)—Recent data shows the COVID-19 pandemic is growing in cases in Georgia. These numbers are expected to increase significantly in the coming days, primarily due to recent large group and small home gatherings during the holiday season. Hospitalizations are increasing beyond available resources, and with the positive tests continuing to climb, many hospitals across the state have little to no ICU bed capacity.
At the first council meeting of 2021 (1/7/2021), Canton City Council addressed the crisis in the City, county, and state, and emphasized the urgency of citizens to act responsibly and do their part to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“You continue to hear the numbers and they are alarming,” shared Mayor Bill Grant. “Unfortunately, our hospital [Northside Hospital-Cherokee] is near diversion status, and Kennestone is as well.
“We do have tools to protect,” he continued. “Wear a mask, sanitize, social distance, avoid large gatherings. Vaccines are out, and hopefully more will soon be available. I plan to get my vaccine and encourage you to do the same.”
Councilor Brooke Schmidt added to the Mayor’s sentiments, “We need to listen to our nurses, doctors, healthcare and frontline workers. They are begging the community to take precautions and do their part.”
During the meeting, Council voted to enact additional guidelines for the safety of City employees and residents:
- The mask order currently in place for indoor areas of City facilities (City Hall, Public Safety & Municipal Court) for all visitors and staff with be extended through March 31, 2021.
- The City will not be issuing any special event permits for use of public spaces for events during the first quarter of 2021 (through March 31). This directive will reduce gatherings on public property.
- The City Council will continue to meet in person for its regular Work Session (first Thursday monthly at 6 p.m.) and Meeting (third Thursday monthly at 6 p.m.). Any special called meetings will be held virtually.
The City will also begin producing a weekly email to go out on Fridays with any additional updates on services, meetings, vaccination information, or new guidelines from the state or federal government, as related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Council members also took time during the meeting to emphasize that the Council would remain available to City of Canton residents and its stakeholders. “We have been and will still be as active and available to our constituents,” said Councilor Sandy McGrew. “Despite what happens, it’s important for constituents to know, we will not stop our work and we will keep going on.”
“All these actions we’ve spoken about tonight, and for most of 2020 and now into this year,” continued Mayor Grant, “are imperative for the health and safety of all of our citizens as we continue to battle this contagious and deadly virus.”
For the latest and most up-to-date information about COVID-19, please visit CDC.gov or HHS.gov. If you would like to speak to your Council representative about your concerns or recommendations, please email email@example.com.
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