PUTNAM COUNTY – With local coronavirus case levels spiking recently following the Labor Day holiday, Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter continues to encourage citizens to follow CDC guidelines and to “not let our guard down” as flu season approaches.
Porter expressed concern that if citizens get complacent, the county’s active case load could rise, especially when combined with the upcoming flu season.
“It concerns me greatly that a number of our citizens seem to have lost focus on the need to continue to exercise caution,” said Porter. “Despite short periods of time when we didn’t have a heavy case count, the coronavirus is still looming large in our community.”
Porter believes the recent spike in active cases is a combination of several factors, including:
- Citizens losing interest or not being willing to sacrifice quality of life activities;
- Putnam County’s attraction as a popular tourism destination, especially during the Labor Day holiday weekend;
- Schools, churches and other groups returning to in-person gatherings;
- Putnam’s high testing rate; recently ranked #3 in the state by percent of population; approximately 31,482 Putnam Countians (39% of population) have been tested.
“I’m not complaining about any of those factors,” expressed Porter. “I’m proud people are able to get back to some sense of normalcy in our county. In doing so, I just want everyone to follow CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, wearing masks when in public and washing/sanitizing hands regularly.
“I believe masks make a difference,” continued Porter. “I realize this is a hot-button issue with many people, but any deterrent to the spread of this disease is worth doing, especially when so many people are asymptomatic carriers.”
One of the major factors in monitoring the effects of COVID-19 is the impact on our local hospital, Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC).
“We have seen the COVID-related patient load at CRMC ebb and flow throughout this process,” said Porter. “While it’s not currently at a critical level, it’s our responsibility as citizens of Putnam County to do our part to keep it from reaching that point.”
Porter and local health officials continue to monitor daily active case levels, as well as a number of other factors, to determine the best way to navigate through the pandemic.
“We can’t let our guard down,” emphasized Porter. “We’re not out of the woods just yet and likely won’t be until we see a majority of the population vaccinated.
“I sincerely hope that our citizens will exercise their personal freedoms by choosing to be diligent in staying healthy and protecting those around them,” continued Porter. “Our county pulls together during tough times, and this is one of those times. If we all work together and make good choices, we will prevail over this challenge and remain #PutnamStrong.”
To learn more about CDC guidelines in combatting the coronavirus, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.