Both the city of Canton and Northside Hospital Cherokee gave updates on Friday related to the novel coronavirus pandemic and how each will be dealing with the rapidly rising cases.

Northside spokeswoman Katherin Watson said that effective Saturday, the hospital will restrict all visitors to the hospital until further notice. The full visitation policy which includes information on visitation policy for patients, and exceptions for the new visitation policy, can be found at northside.com/visiting.

“The numbers of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Georgia and at Northside have reached record highs and are continuing to increase,” Watson said. “The Northside system has seen a 365% increase in total COVID-19 patients over the last two months. We will continue to re-evaluate our visitation policy as the situation changes.”

More information about Northside’s COVID-19 response is available at: northside.com/covid-19.

As for Canton, due to recent data showing that the COVID-19 pandemic is growing in cases in Georgia, the city council on Thursday voted to enact additional guidelines for the safety of city employees and residents, officials said.

These guidelines include extending the mask order currently in place for indoor areas of city facilities - city hall, public safety and municipal court - for all visitors and staff through March 31. The city will also not be issuing any special event permits for use of public spaces for events during the first quarter of this year through March 31. This directive will reduce gatherings on public property, officials said. Lastly, the city council will continue to meet in person for its regular work session, the first Thursday monthly at 6 p.m., and meeting, which is held on the third Thursday monthly at 6 p.m. Any special called meetings will be held virtually.

The city will also begin producing a weekly email to go out on Fridays with any additional updates on services, meetings, vaccination information, or new guidelines from the state or federal government, as related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All these actions we’ve spoken about tonight, and for most of 2020 and now into this year, are imperative for the health and safety of all of our citizens as we continue to battle this contagious and deadly virus,” Canton Mayor Bill Grant said.

For the latest and most up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit CDC.gov or HHS.gov. To speak to a council representative about concerns or recommendations, email comments@cantonga.gov.

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