BLAIRSVILLE, GA – Union County Fire Department and EMA issued the following statement concerning “the new normal” following COVID-19 and the governor’s reopening of the state’s economy.
“The Governor of the State of Georgia has signed an executive order on April 20th to allow certain businesses to open who have previously been ordered to close. This is being referred to as “opening up”. He followed up that executive order with another order on April 23rd that provided the guidelines for these businesses and extending other previous executive orders until May 13th. The businesses that are allowed to reopen must comply with certain restrictions and implement practices to reduce the exposure and spread of COVID-19. This can be very confusing and has raised a great deal of debate.
The “opening up” does not mean that we can throw caution to the wind or behave as if this is over. It is not over; this is our new normal for a while. The businesses that have chosen to open up must follow the restrictions and guidelines for the safety of employees and the customers. That is their responsibility. If anyone decides to go to these businesses, they must use common sense and practice all the precautions that have been taught over the last two months.
The new normal, for now at least, is practicing these precautions and preventive measures. This includes wearing a cloth mask. If you do not have a cloth mask by now, you are behind the times. People should get used to wearing a mask in public and get used to seeing others wearing them. The Governor’s executive order also “strongly encouraged” everyone to wear a mask when outside your home.
The mask is not only for your protection but for the protection of others. There is evidence that a person can be positive for COVID-19 and not be aware of it. They may have no signs and symptoms at all. They could also be spreading the virus without knowing it. This is why wearing a cloth mask in public is very important not only for your safety but for the safety of others.
According to the CDC, a cloth face covering or mask should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face; be secured with ties or ear loops; include multiple layers of fabric; allow for breathing without restriction; and be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape. The CDC has more information on how to make and use a cloth mask.
This is our new normal for now. As I have stated before, we all have a part to play and it is very important that people take this seriously and do their part.”