With Statesboro now classified as a Rural Hot Spot in addition to being designated as a “Substantial Spread” community by the Georgia Department of Public health, local businesses are struggling to continue to stay open. The list of businesses that are having to temporarily close continues to grow daily. Even as cases locally explode, City and County leaders are hamstrung by Governor Kemp’s emergency order which does not allow local governments to exceed the statewide order.
Statesboro Mayor Jonathan McCollar on Wednesday addressed the community and pleaded with citizens to follow CDC guidelines, which include wearing a mask when in public, maintaining social distancing of 6 feet, wash your hands and avoid large crowds. McCollar stressed the importance of NOT shutting down our local economy again. WE MUST get this virus under control and the best way to do this is for everyone to be neighborly, think of others and wear a mask.
If a COVID-19 positive patron visits a business and infects one employee this tremendously impacts that business requiring them to close immediately to properly clean and disinfect the business. It only takes one patron, who may not even know they are COVID-19 positive to shut down an entire business.
Local leaders and medical professionals all agree that the best way to keep our economy moving and for all of us to stay healthy is to wear a mask.
City Hall Closed Temporarily
Statesboro City Manager Charles Penny confirmed today that one of the city’s employees has tested positive for COVID-19. In an effort to stop the spread of the virus, City Hall will be closed to the public until further notice. The City of Statesboro has taken measures to ensure that any coworkers who came in contact with the staff member are self-isolated for the next 14 days and will be tested for the virus. The employee was asymptomatic and was sent home for testing after they notified their supervisor that they had been to a local business which had recently closed due to a positive COVID-19 employee.
“All of us at the City of Statesboro send our best wishes for a speedy and full recovery to our affected staff member,” said Penny. “We’ve been making necessary precautions and preparations to protect our employees and the public, but we knew there was a chance the virus would reach our workforce as it continues to spread across the nation.”
City Workers Will Continue to Report to Work
City employees will continue to report to work during this time. Utility customers will still be able to pay their bills through the following methods: City Hall drop boxes located at the front porch, drive-thru, and back parking lot, by phone at 833-262-5907, or online at www.municipalonlinepayments.com/statesboroga/. Utility disconnections will be suspended from June 29 through July 3.
Since the beginning of March, the city has contracted a professional cleaning service to thoroughly clean each city-owned building weekly. Physical meetings have also been kept to a minimum with virtual meetings taking their place. All city buildings have been posted with informational flyers regarding COVID-19 for employees and customers. Since reopening to the public in June, visitors to City Hall and other city buildings have been required to wear masks and undergo temperature and symptom checks before being permitted entry.
“Open and frequent communication with our employees is a top priority during this time,” said City of Statesboro Director of Human Resources Demetrius Bynes. “ We’ve been issuing messages to our employees through multiple media channels, covering a variety of topics from safety and prevention to emotional trauma stemming from COVID-19. Our goal is to establish a knowledgeable and equipped workforce that is prepared for whatever might come its way.”