City pushes tests and precautions to stop coronavirus spread


AUGUSTA,Ga. (WJBF) – As more and more Georgia Businesses open with fewer and fewer restrictions Augusta officials say testing is vitally important to keep people apart and slow down the cases of the coronavirus.

Missing from the Mayor’s weekly press conference; Sheriff Richard Roundtree, who is in quarantine after testing positive for the coronavirus.

“One of the things that are important is for people to recognize you can be completely asymptotic and get tested positive the sheriff has indicated that to us,” said Mayor Hardie Davis.

And some more positives are likely be the result as the Augusta Fire Department and its partners tested several hundred today at Lamar Milledge Elementary school.

The City is saying the best way to stop the spread is to test as many people as possible so they can know and respond.

“We understand that the test results curtails people’s behavior. If you test and you become positive you will stay at home,” said Fire Chief Chris James.

With more tests the health department is ramping up its contact tracing efforts with help from the state but how much help is coming is still not known.

“We don’t know our final allocation of staff yet, but anticipate a cadre of staff staring next week,” said Dr. Stephen Goggans, Public Health Director.

As Georgia businesses re-open Mayor Davis wants employers to send sick workers home and he wants to those going to these businesses to think about how they will pay the bill.

“These businesses should also encourage non cash payments. We want to do everything we can to minimize contract and exposure to not only employees but customers as well.

The Mayor says under the Governor’s executive order private neighborhood pools can reopen this weekend. He expects to see that take place but he says city pools under the Recreation Department will not open until further notice.

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