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Heed the stay-home order, sheriff warns, or risk wider outbreak

Sheriff Lowell Griffin urges residents to use common sense and comply with stay-at-home orders. [YouTube video] Sheriff Lowell Griffin urges residents to use common sense and comply with stay-at-home orders. [YouTube video]

Sheriff Lowell Griffin is warning people who "evidently don't understand" the gravity of the coronavirus threat to heed stay-at-home orders or risk making the problem much worse.

 

“Please don’t read anything into this,” he says in the second YouTube video he has made since the county imposed the stay-home order on Friday. “I still don’t won’t anybody to panic. It looks like our grocery stores may be starting to recover. Drug stores, Walmart, nothing else is shutting down.”
Social distancing is imperative because without it infections could overwhelm health care providers’ capacity.
“We can’t afford for everybody in Henderson County to get sick, especially to get sick at one time,” he says. “There’s still a few that I see that evidently don’t understand. They don’t realize how serious this is. For those people, I want you to pay attention.”
Griffin then explains a forecast projecting that, without social distancing and compliance with the stay-home order, as many as 650 residents of the county could require hospitalization.
“We have around 300 hospital beds” between Pardee UNC Health and Advent Health. “So that means if we don’t practice social distancing, if the virus continues to spread, that there’s a possibility, even at one-tenth of this number (of total cases), that there’s going to be a lot of people that can’t even get in the hospital and get treatment. We’re going to overload our health care system. We can’t afford to do that.”
“Again, don’t panic,” he says. “Grocery stores are still going to be open.”
He cautioned against close contact at garden shops and other stores on a nice weekend that may tempt people to go shopping.
“Not everybody needs to flood our big box stores at one time,” he said. “Let’s use some common sense. Let’s survive this. Together we can do this. Let’s take care of each other. Let’s take care of Henderson County.”