Representatives for the City of Hinesville and Liberty County hosted a COVID-19 update Wednesday morning and told folks to expect a spike in the increase of positive tests for the area in the weeks to come.
“We’ve been blessed with low cases so far…but we have more testing going on now so those numbers may go up some,” Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown cautioned. City Manager Kenneth Howard said more testing will take place tomorrow from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Riceboro City Hall.
According to a press release from the Coastal Health District, their drive-through specimen collection site will be at the Shuman Gym Parking Lot at James Brown Park, 800 Tupelo Trail in Hinesville on tomorrow from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., and again on Wednesday May 13, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The CHD stated that the schedule was subject to change depending on the supply of testing kits. COVID-19 testing through the Coastal Health District is free and most people will qualify for a test. No appointment is needed for the mobile testing center.
Call the Coastal Health District’s COVID-19 Testing Call Center at 1-912-230-9744 with questions. The center takes calls Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 7 p.m., and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Hinesville City Manager Kenneth Howard confirmed that Bryant Commons and Irene Thompson Park reopened this past Saturday. He said Bryant Commons will operate from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Thompson Park will be from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.
County Administrator Joey Brown reminded folks that James Brown Park is open for the walking trails but the Shuman Center, ball fields, playgrounds and the other areas of the park are still closed.
City of Walthourville Mayor Larry Baker said the Hillery Park, which is in the city’s limits but managed by the county, opened the walking trail. All other areas of the park remain closed.
Mayor Brown said the city of Hinesville plans to extend their emergency order to match that of Governor Brian Kemp during their regular council meeting this week.
Howard urged business owners to follow the CDC guidelines.
“Because we don’t have the capacity to strictly enforce those guidelines,” he said. “We are going to need all the business owners’ help and be compliant.”
Howard mentioned that Diversity Health is also doing COVID-testing at their three clinics located in Hinesville, Ludowici and Jesup. He said Diversity Health had administered 400 tests in the past three days.
The county and city are working on plans to reopen some building offices and services. Both said they will phase in those operations.
Brown said the County Commission did renew their emergency order last week to match the Governor’s plan which expires May 13.
Brown said that the Presidential primary is still set for June 9. Early in person voting will start May 18 and run until June 5.
Early voting will be at 100 North Main Street and the East end complex at 9397 E Oglethorpe Highway in Midway.
Brown said the Secretary of State is encouraging people to vote by absentee ballot. Brown also said that people who plan to vote in person follow physical distancing, wear masks and be extremely patient. He added that the state has authorized a drop box for people to use and that it will be located at the Bradwell Street entrance of the old court house. He said there will be several surveillance cameras covering the drop box to avoid voter fraud.
Liberty Emergency Management Agency Director Larry Logan reminded everyone that there is no way to put a hold on Hurricane season which starts June 1. He said his office is doing everything within their means to be ready.