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‘Let this be a safe place this weekend’: Dougherty Co. coroner sends safety message ahead of ASU homecoming

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 8:11 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - As Albany State University is having different homecoming events this weekend, Dougherty County leaders are asking everyone to be safe in more ways than one.

Coroner Michael Fowler opened Dougherty County’s COVID-19 task force, saying when you’re out this weekend in a big crowd and not vaccinated, you should wear a mask. However, that’s not the only thing he’s asking the community to do.

“Put the guns down. Let this be a safe place this weekend,” said Fowler.

Fowler said as people are coming from all over, he’s hoping more drugs and guns don’t make their way into the Good Life City.

“We know drugs are out there and people are going to be bringing drugs in town. We know that’s another problem here. We’ve had so many drugs overdoses the past few weeks. You have to be careful about that,” said Fowler.

Dr. Kathy Hudson, chief medical officer at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
Dr. Kathy Hudson, chief medical officer at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital(WALB)

Chief Medical Officer at Phoebe Main Dr. Kathy Hudson said COVID-19 numbers are starting to trend downwards. However, that doesn’t mean vaccination efforts need to stop.

This week, they have a total of 79 COVID-positive patients in their hospital.

“Eighty-seven percent of our patients in the hospital with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. So, of course, the vaccination continues to be the best prevention of hospitalization due to COVID,” said Hudson.

There will be a number of homecoming events this weekend.
There will be a number of homecoming events this weekend. (WALB)

With six deaths this week, Fowler said wearing a mask now could help keep numbers down, and help avoid a surge later.

“I love to go this whole weekend that we did not have a shooting. I’d love to get this weekend that people did not overdose this weekend. And I love to go this weekend, the next 14 days that we don’t have a surge from COVID-19,″ said Fowler.

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