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Local health officials: COVID-19 cases growth ‘alarming’

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Explosive growth is how officials at the Health Department describe the current situation in Adams County, when it comes to COVID-19 cases.

Now, the employees who have been working since the pandemic started, are speaking up about what they really need from the community as more people get sick.

Officials at the health department said more people are getting sick, filling up hospital beds and dying from the virus.

They said things need to turn around and employees on the front lines agree.

The owner at Grown 'N Gathered wants you to think twice before you walk in without a mask.

It's the new norm. Every time you check out at the grocery store.

"Put a mask on, use hand sanitizer, social distance," Grown 'N Gathered owner Michelle Wynne said.

That's the message from workers on the front lines, as COVID-19 cases surge in Adams County.

The Adams County Health Department announced three COVID related deaths and a positivity rate just over 11 percent.

"When people see those numbers, it invokes fear, they don't feel safe,": Wynne said.

She said when the community is at risk, so are her employees.

That's why she urges everyone to wear a mask and do their part.

"If one employee gets sick or is exposed, you have to take extra precautions around here, but also, we're a man down," Wynne said.

Adams County Public Health Administrator Jerrod Welch calls the surge in cases and hospitalizations alarming.

Welch reports 37 people are in the hospital, five in the ICU.

"These numbers are an indicator to everyone that we're not in a good place right now," Welch said.

He said people are over it and have let their guard down.

He said that has to change, as the hospital fills up.

"What we're seeing now is longer illness, we're seeing younger people with illness," Welch said. "A lot of people in that middle age bracket that are ending up in the hospital with it."

With flu season coming, Welch said people need to be mindful of community spread, before it's too late.

"We can't continue to have 30, 40, 50 people in the hospital with this disease or we're going to wind up in those stories you saw this spring with other communities where there wasn't enough capacity to serve," Welch said.

It's a desperate call, for change.

"We don't want to see anybody die," Wynne said. "We don't want to see deaths, we don't want to have loved ones lost. Our priority is health and safety for our entire community."

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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