All unvaccinated Livingston city employees will be required to wear masks, effective immediately.
Mayor Curtis Hayes said people entering city buildings will be temperature screened and asked to wear a mask when inside. Hayes said the only exception is the city hall lobby, because barriers are in place to prevent people from wandering.
Hayes made the announcement Monday during a briefing from local health officials.
Overton County Health Department Director Andy Langford said that from July 15 to July 28, COVID cases spiked from 2 cases to 23 cases.
“The thing that we’re trying to point out to everyone is that we’re seeing a rise once again, a surge,” Langford said. “The thing that is important to realize is about 80 percent of the cases we’re seeing are the Delta Variant, which is a much stronger virus.”
Langford said the county sits at a 26 percent full vaccination rate. Langford said the county and city have seen a small amount of cases, increase rapidly but the difference now is having vaccines available to prevent COVID from spreading.
“It’s coming, I hope it’s not as bad as what we dealt with before,” Langford said. “I’ll say that the one thing we have at our disposal is vaccines. That is the one tool we have to fight this and we recommend the vaccine and we’re here to help and give that vaccine.”
Langford said he knows there are people hesitant to be vaccinated, wanting to wait and see the effect. Langford said the vaccine has been going out since December and it has proven to be an effective tool.
“As we see this cases rise up and if you watch the news you’ll see some of your more metropolitan cities they’re starting to fill up the hospitals,” Langford said. “We don’t want that here but eventually we’re going to see more of this Delta strain here. It is much more infectious than the strain we had before. It affects the body differently and is a dangerous thing we’re dealing with.”
Scott Stevens of Overton County Health and Rehab Center announced some changes within the facility. Stevens said that staff will be wearing a mask and face shield.
He said face shields will be required for guests who want to meet in person, in the facility. Stevens said visitors can meet outside with a mask on if they do not want to wear the shield.
Stevens said that weekly testing for staff has returned if they are unvaccinated. He said if there is a positive case within the facility, then weekly testing for all staff will happen.