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Covid-19 Update | April 20 at 9:21 PM

Ok, time for tonight’s coronavirus update brought to you the Southeastern Conference, leading the nation in common sense and economic recovery! So here are how the SEC states are reopening for business. Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia announced gyms, hair salons, and retail business can reopen on Friday, April 24th and that restaurants and movie theaters can reopen on Monday the 27th. I also learned that the 110 miles of Georgia’s coastline has been open for recreation since April 4th. They have banned beach chairs and umbrellas, but you would think if open beaches were going to bring throngs of out-of-towners, we would have heard about it in Georgia. Also, their coastal counties have very few coronavirus cases and the higher numbers are in the Albany and Atlanta areas. South Carolina opens their beaches tomorrow, along with their retail stores. Texas will allow elective surgeries starting tomorrow at midnight and they are also opening their state parks. And Tennessee has announced that all major businesses will be allowed to open May 1st and that some may be allowed to open sooner. Alabama has a plan on their governor’s desk to allow for hair salons and retail stores to open immediately and elective surgeries and restaurants on May 1st. And Florida’s Reopening task force was named and had their first teleconference today. They will be meeting twice a day and the governor expects their plan completed by Friday. I think the governor intends to let the Stay-At-Home order expire on April 30th. He has already told local leaders they have the green light to reopen their beaches and the City of Mexico beach and Jacksonville have done just that. Neither place has had tourists flock in and it is just locals getting some exercise and Vitamin D. I’m glad we live in the region of the country where the protest of governmental overreach is not necessary. So, now for the coronavirus update. Here in Bay County, two new cases since yesterday. Bringing our total to 57, from a total of 867 tests. Just over 6% of our tests are positive. Some locals have voiced concern about the rapid increase in cases, it is an unfortunate side effect of more testing. If you look at doubling time of cases, which with a virus would indicate an outbreak worsening if the doubling times didn’t go down. On March 25th, we had three cases and we reached six on March 29th. We then reached 12 on April 1st, 24 on April 7th, and 48 on April 18th. So, the virus is not indicating a rapid transmission of cases, but people get concerned because the media can’t put anything into proper context. Florida for three days in a row now has had 700-800 positive cases, well under the 1,200 a day for a week during the peak. Also, for the first day ever, Florida’s percent of positive cases is now under 10%. The increased access to testing is showing fewer positive cases. The national story is the same as yesterday. No new hot spots, and New Orleans is rapidly improving. NYC metro, Detroit, and Boston area are problems; and its very interesting that they have all been on strict lock down for weeks now. I think we should all be rethinking this Stay-at-home thing for those at low risk. The great news is we are at the end, we are fortunate to live in a state with leaders that care about BOTH our health and the economy and understand that you can’t have one without the other, and if you’re not planning for what happens in life after quarantine you better start now. Good night all!

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