The chairman’s decision followed a special called meeting Tuesday where public health experts issued grave warnings about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Janet Memarck, director of Cobb and Douglas Public Health, and Daniel Branstetter, the medical director of infection prevention at Wellstar, both warned that the county was dangerously close to exceeding the capacity of its healthcare system given the exponential infection rate of COVID-19.
They emphasized Cobb’s density and many older residents and elder care facilities as particular risk factors.
“Eighty percent of people standing in this room will get COVID-19 no matter what action you take today,” said Branstetter, emphasizing the need to slow the infection rate and spread it out over time.
“What we need to do is put in measures so our healthcare personnel can be available, the equipment, the supplies, the testing, medications, the ventilators can be available to take care of each and every one of us,” he added.
Boyce called the information “sobering.”
“Not enough people are really taking this seriously because not enough people that they know have been infected,” Boyce said. “This is a virulent disease and we have to start taking it seriously.”