In one week the number of COVID-19 cases has jumped by 20, from 46 cases on June 30 to 66 cases as of noon on Tuesday, July 7.
Five cases have required hospitalization, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health website. DPH does not disclose where patients are hospitalized.
“I believe the spike is being caused by an increase in the number of citizens getting tested,” said Candler EMA Deputy Director Justin Wells. “More people than ever are getting tested. I would like to see the ratio of the number of total tests vs. positive tests. We just don’t have that data to be able to break it down.”
Marty Ray, director of public relations for Candler County Hospital, confirmed on Tuesday that the local hospital has seen patients who are COVID positive. Ray said he also believes the increase in numbers is due to an increase in testing.
Ray added that Candler County Hospital, the Emergency Room and the Rural Health Clinic continue to follow safety protocol and remain ready to meet the medical needs in the community.
Additionally, the hospital can help local residents with testing.
Doctor’s orders are not required for testing, Ray said. The hospital will administer the test when patients exhibit symptoms or need the test in the course of their care and treatment.
Individuals who have been exposed to COVID or who wish to be tested while not actively exhibiting symptoms can schedule a test through the DPH hotline, 1-855-473-4374. The caller will speak to a nurse who will schedule an appointment to be tested.
City Hall remains closed
Metter City Hall was closed last week after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
All others were tested and as of press time have either received negative results or are awaiting results. However, City Hall remains closed to the public.
How to pay water bills
Water bills are due by July 10. Since City Hall is closed, water customers can drop payments off in the drop box located at City Hall or mailed to City of Metter, PO Box 497, Metter GA 30439. Or customers can make payments online at www.metter-candler.com.
Calls for service for water or other city services can be made to City Hall, 912-685-2527, during normal business hours and will be handled by a member of the administration team.
Courthouse employee, sheriff’s deputy test positive
In the county, one courthouse employee tested positive last week. However, the employee had not been to work ten days prior to the test result, Commission Chair Glyn Thrift reported. All other courthouse personnel who requested to be tested have had negative test results, he reported.
On Friday of this week, the Courthouse will be sprayed and treated by Georgia National Guard units, Thrift said.
Additionally, Capt. Justin Wells reported that a deputy has tested COVID positive and will remain in quarantine for the appropriate time.
Superintendent Dr. Bubba Longgrear reported that the plan is still for Candler County Schools to open to traditional learning on Aug. 3, although virtual learning options will be available.
Plans for the new school year will be finalized in the next few days. Metter Advertiser will keep you posted as details become available.