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COVID-19 case count now up to three in Crisp

‘Room for improvement’ in community’s social distancing practices, says Sheriff Hancock

As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, three Crisp Regional Hospital patients have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus that is now a worldwide pandemic.

Federal healthcare privacy laws prevent hospital officials from commenting on the patients’ prognosis, but no deaths have been reported in Crisp County as a result of COVID-19.

According to data from the Georgia Department of Public Health, counties contiguous to Crisp that have reported cases include one in Turner, two in Sumter, and four in Worth. Statewide there are 1,026 positive cases and there have been 32 confirmed deaths from the disease in Georgia.

Public health officials at every level are warning that the pandemic could get worse before conditions begin to improve. That makes the need for social distancing all the more important.

Crisp County Sheriff and Emergency Management Director Billy Hancock said local residents must continue to come together to heed precautions provided for in the county’s emergency declaration, which includes a voluntary shelter-in-place provision requesting that residents travel only when necessary and prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people, among other things.

“I think we’re doing good, but we have some room for improvement. We’re talking to both the city commission and the county commission and it may come down to making a mandatory curfew, but we’re not there at this time,” Hancock said. “One of the things that each and every one of us need to remember is that we’re learning as we go. We’ve never dealt with a pandemic here before, and that’s why it’s important that we heed the warnings as they come out. This is a marathon, and it isn’t going to go away soon.”

As COVID-19 positive cases increase, perhaps no one feels the pressure of the marathon more than the healthcare professionals at Crisp Regional Hospital and elsewhere.

“Each day our healthcare workers are putting their lives on the line because they chose to help and care for others even in the worst of times. They are our real-life superheroes,” said Crisp Regional’s Brooke Marshall. “To Crisp Regional’s team and all healthcare workers across the world, we support you and appreciate the courage you are showing during these challenging times. The safety and protection of our health care workers and their families are paramount and we thank them for everything they are doing to protect our patients and community.”

Both the hospital and the sheriff’s office have turned to social media to keep people informed on the pandemic’s effects in Crisp County. You can stay up to date on their efforts by visiting the Crisp Regional Hospital Facebook page or the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.