VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - South Georgia continues to see a significant increase in COVID-19 cases, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) South Health District website.
DPH said there are over 2,000 cases across 10 counties, with Lowndes County being the leading one.
However, the spike in cases across Lowndes County didn’t stop park-goers from returning to Wild Adventures Monday.
“There’s hand sanitizers everywhere and every so many yards, they have access,” said Tonya Wood, a park visitor.
Park visitors said they felt confident with all the safety precautions in place.
“Everything was clearly marked. All staff was very helpful. I read everything before I came so I knew what was to be expected,” said Pamela Sterans, another park visitor who came to the park for the first time Monday with her daughter.
As of Monday afternoon, The Department of Public Health showed 939 positive cases in Lowndes County.
Kristin Patten, with the South Health District, said they’ve tested over 9,000 people across the district’s 10 counties. A large percentage of that happening in the last 3 weeks. While they have seen an increase in testing, they are also seeing an increase in the percentage of those cases that come back positive.
Patten said they are tracing all cases and they are keeping track in case a hotspot develops.
“A lot of people have been having very mild symptoms, symptoms that they would associate with allergies. We live in South Georgia, everyone has allergies year-round, but especially during late spring. So a lot of people have been reporting a loss of taste, loss of smell and a slight bit of congestion that they associate with allergies. So if you are having any symptoms, even if it’s a little mild, it is highly encouraged you get tested,” said Patten.
Officials said there has not been an increase in hospitalizations.
As bars and amusement parks reopen, Patten said you should stay on high alert and not let your guard down.
She urges everyone to stay six feet apart. If you can’t, she said to make sure you are wearing a mask. If you are uncomfortable in an area, you should leave.
Patten also said to make sure that everyone in your group is washing their hands, using hand sanitizer and that you should bring it along if you are going to be going anywhere with a large group.
“While COVID is still prevalent in our communities, that doesn’t mean you can’t go out and have a good time with your friends. You just need to do it responsibly and just making sure you are remembering that just because someone is not showing symptoms at this point, does not mean that they couldn’t possibly have it. So taking those extra steps, not only to protect yourself but your loved ones as well because while the young people may be very mildly affected, we, of course, know older individuals can get extremely sick and so it’s more than protecting yourself, you are also protecting those around you,” said Patten.