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DeKalb County CEO issues executive orders to stave off ‘twin-demic’ of COVID-19 and the flu

COVID-19 Metro ATL

DeKalb County CEO issues executive orders to stave off ‘twin-demic’ of COVID-19 and the flu

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond briefs the press at Wesley Chapel Square shopping center in greater Decatur July 25, 2020 to announce DeKalb police, fire and code enforcement personnel would begin distribution of 20,000 masks and “No Mask, No Service” signage to small businesses throughout the county as part of its ongoing “Stop the Spread” campaign. Photo by Dean Hesse.


Decatur, GA — DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond issued two executive orders to combat the spread of the flu and stave off what he termed a “twin-demic.”

Officials are on high alert about the flu this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and everyone is encouraged to get a flu shot.

“The combination of COVID-19 and the flu this year can be catastrophic,” DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond said in a press release. “We want to make sure our residents and employees are fortified and ready to fight against this ‘twin-demic.’”

The two executive orders urge county employees and residents to get a flu vaccine by Oct. 31. Widespread use of vaccines would reduce the strain on the healthcare systems already burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic, the press release from the county says.

“As the COVID-19 epidemic extends into the fall and winter months, it is imperative for everyone to roll up their sleeves for a flu shot this year,” DeKalb County District Health Director S. Elizabeth Ford, M.D., M.B.A. said in the press release. “The flu vaccine protects you, as well as your loved ones and friends. Flu symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms are very similar at the onset, so it’s critical to maximize prevention of the flu by getting the vaccine.”

The county says the flu shot is recommended for anyone age six months and older, especially if they are a higher risk for complications. The groups at higher risk are young children, pregnant women, people with conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease and anyone 65 or older.

“Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 30, DeKalb County Government is partnering with the DeKalb County Board of Health and Kaiser Permanente to host multiple flu vaccination clinics throughout October specifically for county employees,” the press release says.

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