Breaking News
More () »

Why does Dooly County have one of the highest rates of COVID-19 in Central Georgia?

The infection rate in Dooly is about 5 to 7 times greater than some of our larger counties like Bibb and Houston.

DOOLY COUNTY, Ga. — The West Central Health District reported its first two COVID-19 cases in Dooly County on March 30th. Just two weeks later that number jumped to above 50.

Unadilla Mayor Myron Mixon issued a state of emergency in his city last month, ordered a curfew, and asked people not to travel to hot spots like Dougherty County. 

Yet, Dooly County's infection rate is still about 5 to 7 times greater than some of our larger counties like Bibb and Houston.  

"We got a major plant down in Vienna, Georgia. One town south of us in the same county. Tyson. There's a lot of employees down there. I don't know if we've had any cases there or not," says Mixon.

The processing plant on Pine Street employs over a thousand people. Some of them have called and e-mailed 13WMAZ alleging that employees have gotten sick from the virus and want to know why the plant hasn't been temporarily shut down.

Tyson Foods has not confirmed if any Vienna plant employees have tested positive, telling 13WMAZ they're not sharing specifics for privacy reasons.

Their statement says they are checking team members' temperatures before they enter the facility and are working to get personal protective equipment for their production workers.

According to the West Central Health District, the Dooly County Health Department's nurse manager has been in touch with the Tyson complex manager and is offering guidance and preventative measures as recommended by the CDC.
"I do know this, if you're with more folks and more people, then the more apt you are to get the virus," says Mixon. 

No matter what's caused the high rate (per capita) of COVID-19 cases, Mixon says it's caused many local restaurants and businesses to shut down. He's hopeful store owners will be able to bounce back once the pandemic has passed.  

RELATED: Several southwest Georgia counties highlighted as COVID-19 hot spots in new data

RELATED: Tracking COVID-19: Georgia Coronavirus Interactive map

RELATED: These are the coronavirus hot spots in Georgia

FACTS NOT FEAR | At 13WMAZ, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the coronavirus. To see our full coverage, visit our site section here: www.13wmaz.com/Coronavirus.

STAY UPDATED | Click here to subscribe to our Midday Minute newsletter and receive the latest headlines and information in your inbox every day.

Have a news tip? Email news@13wmaz.com, or visit our Facebook page.

Before You Leave, Check This Out