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'It is worrisome': Laurens County declared a 'red zone' for COVID-19, according to city leaders

We spoke with city and hospital leaders who are urging the community to stay safe.

DUBLIN, Ga. — A special White House report says the City of Dublin and Laurens County is in what they call the "red zone" when it comes down to COVID-19. The city is asking citizens to take more precautions to stop the spread of the virus. This comes as Fairview Park hospital is reporting more coronavirus patients. Wanya Reese shares reaction from local and health leaders. 

"We are currently without ICU beds, we have 16 ICU beds," Chief Medical Officer George Harrison with Fairview Park Hospital said 

Right now, Harrison says the hospital is packed with coronavirus patients. 

"We have patients waiting in the emergency room for those beds (ICU), we have a step-down unit that is completely full, our COVID-unit is completely full," Harrison said. 

"Today, we have 47 patients in the hospital," President and CEO of Fairview Park Don Avery said. 

It's those numbers city leaders say prompted the federal coronavirus task force to declare Laurens county a "red Zone," meaning in the last week, new cases in the county are above 100 for every 100,000 people and more than 10% of the coronavirus tests are positive.

"It is worrisome. We are looking at a lot of other sources of information, we are looking at several nursing homes that are having high instances of cases," Dublin City Manager Lance Jones said. 

The South Central Health District is reporting 834 confirmed cases with 330 of those confirmed ion the past 14 days. Besides nursing homes, the district says community spread is also to blame for the latest increase, so now the city manager is urging everyone to follow the CDC's guidelines. 

"Limit your public contact, wear your mask, wash your hands, stay home. If you are going to go out and eat, be very careful," Jones said. 

Health leaders echo that message asking everyone to do what they can to stop the spread. 

"We need the communities help so that these heroes of ours can continue to do their job well, we need the communities help to try to mitigate this disease by adhering to the practices that we have put forth," Harrison said.