March 7, 2020–12:41 p.m.
There have been a number of developments overnight regarding COVID-19 in Georgia. Governor Kemp and DPH Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H. want to remind all Georgians that the overall risk of COVID-19 to the general public remains low and there is no evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in Georgia at this time.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19 in Georgia. Testing was done by the CDC, prior to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory (GPHL) having the capacity to test for COVID-19.
One individual is from Cobb County and recently returned from Italy and is isolated at home. The other individual is from Fulton County and is hospitalized. The source of this individual’s exposure is unclear at this time.
Additionally, DPH is awaiting confirmatory testing on a presumptive positive test for COVID-19 in a resident of Gwinnett County. The initial testing was completed by GPHL March 6. The individual recently returned from Italy and was self-monitoring at home, and is now isolated at home.
CDC testing has confirmed the presumptive positive test for COVID-19 in a resident of Floyd County. The original testing was done by GPHL March 5. The individual is hospitalized.
According to Floyd Medical Center, 20 caregivers who assisted in the patient’s treatment are also in isolation,
“Federal and state officials continue to work closely together to conduct testing and determine the extent of exposure for confirmed cases of COVID-19. The risk to Georgians remains low. We ask Georgians to stay vigilant, utilize best practices to mitigate health risk, and remain calm,” said Governor Kemp.
“DPH is prepared to mitigate the spread of this virus in our state, and we are aggressively working to identify anyone who may have had contact with these individuals,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., DPH commissioner. “Despite these new cases, the overall risk of COVID-19 to the general public remains low; but each new case of COVID-19 in Georgia reinforces the fact we should all be practicing basic prevention measures that are extremely effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and all respiratory illnesses.”
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
If you have recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 and develop fever with cough and shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, stay home and call your health care provider or local health department right away. Be sure to call before going to a doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
For accurate and reliable information about COVID-19 log on to: dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html. Find answers to frequently asked questions at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.