DeKalb County announced last week that police officers and firefighters would be passing out COVID-19 care packets to residents. The care packages include two disposable nonsurgical masks and a container of hadn sanitizer with a card containing tips on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
County officials report being overwhelmed with calls from residents since the announcement was made and offered some clarification about how and when residents might get them.
The first thing to know is that not every DeKalb resident will get a care package. The county has 10,000 masks to give out and 752,000 residents.
The county’s initial efforts will focus on economically disadvantaged communities that the DeKalb County Board of Health has identified as experiencing the highest number of COVID-19 infections. DeKalb County has the second highest number of confirmed cases with nearly 2,100. There have been 49 confirmed deaths in DeKalb from the pandemic.
According to Board of Health data, despite the high number of cases, DeKalb County has the second lowest rate of death among those who have contracted the disease, in counties that have been most impacted by COVID-19.
Why it Matters: Despite the fact that Georgia’s shelter-in-place order has ended, COVID-19 remains an active pandemic and can still be spread. Residents in lower-income areas are less likely to be able to protect themselves with masks and hand sanitizer. This initiative by the DeKalb County government will help reduce the spread of the virus in vulnerable populations.
“DeKalb County has been overwhelmed with phone calls and emails from anxious residents asking how they can get a COVID-19 Care Packet,” said DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond. “I want to reassure residents that for the next six weeks, we will be passing out these packets as part of our ongoing efforts to inform, educate and protect our residents.”