Cobb County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Lisa Cupid signed a Declaration of Emergency late Thursday to help the county respond to the latest surge in COVID-19 cases.
The order cites the increase in hospitalizations that has left the county “critically low” on critical care beds, as well as noting the increase in positivity rates for the virus and low vaccination rates compared to elsewhere in the country.
“Public health officials are urging us to do whatever we can to encourage people to get the COVID vaccine and wear masks while near other people,” Cupid said in a statement. “This declaration will open the doors to provide assistance to others in the county who need it and highlight the critical stress this surge has put on our local healthcare facilities.”
The declaration strongly encourages Cobb residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible, to have everyone including the fully vaccinated wear masks when indoors in public places, and encourages local businesses to re-implement measures requiring masks indoors “for the protection of employees and customers.”
It also activates the county’s emergency operations plan which will allow resources to be funneled to local hospitals, state agencies, or others that may have a critical need for equipment and supplies. The county’s Emergency Management Agency used federal assistance money to stockpile supplies that would be needed should the pandemic persist.
The declaration will be in effect for the next 30 days and could be extended if necessary.