Decatur Co. Health Department switches to four day week -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Decatur Co. Health Department switches to four day week

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - Shrinking budgets throughout Georgia have resulted in furloughed workers and decreased public health programs.

The Decatur County Health Department is trying to help solve the problem by switching to a four day work week.

Starting September 6th, the health department's new daily hours will be Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 pm. "It will be a trial. If we feel like it's not working. If we get negative feedback from our public who make all the decisions about keeping our jobs and keeping our doors open than of course we're going to look at changing around if we need to," said Public Health Nurse Thea Burke.

Health officials say this new schedule will really help people who work. They say up until now some of these folks have had to choose between receiving treatment or getting paid. "Just this morning a patient I was reassuring them well you know when it will be time for you to come back we will have already switched to our 10 hour days and so it will work with your work schedule so much better that you won't even have to take time off from work," said Burke.

Thomas County switched to a four day week on July 1st. They say it is still too early to know anything for sure, but they have received positive feedback. "One of our clients even to the comment of saying it's so good to get in prior to going to work so she didn't have to take time off from work. So that was very favorable," said Thomas County Health Director Carolyn Simmons.

Decatur County officials say this should really benefit their biggest clients, the kids. "These older children are not getting out of school till late and getting home from the bus and it's just really hard for them to get in here by five," said Burke.

Decatur health officials say the change is coming at a perfect time, with flu season about to begin.

Just like in Thomas County, there will be a one year trial period with evaluations every three months.

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