Augusta mayor, health officials stress small Thanksgiving activities this year

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 10:53 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - With Thanksgiving right around the corner, local, state, and national COVID-19 numbers have health experts feeling concerned.

“We remain below our summer peak, but we are headed in the wrong direction,” Stephen Goggans of the Georgia Department of Public Health said.

The CDC, Department of Public Health, and city leaders all encourage a smaller Thanksgiving this year, preferably without travel or extended family.

“I want to be with my family, but we will be there together virtually,” Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. said.

Mayor Davis says Thanksgiving gatherings can serve as the perfect storm when it comes to super spreader events, with asymptomatic carriers posing the biggest threat.

“Exposure to asymptomatic cases - this is a concern- can easily lead to spread as people unmask at private gatherings,” he said.

Meanwhile, Augusta’s mask ordinance and statewide executive orders are still in place.

“We have seen individuals and establishments become lax in the city of Augusta,” Davis said.

And he said within the next week, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office will randomly check on businesses across the city to ensure they are meeting social distancing and mask requirements.

“We’re well beyond the educational phase at this point,” Davis said. “People will know that we’re serious about this.”

And when it comes to future executive orders, the mayor says increased fines could be on the horizon.

View the full presser with Mayor Hardie Davis and local, state, and health officials below.

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