Since Georgia health officials announced earlier this week that the state’s first two cases of COVID-19 were identified in Fulton County, three additional cases have been identified.
One individual is from Cobb County after recently returning from Italy and is isolated at home. The second individual is from Fulton County and is hospitalized. The source of this individual’s exposure is unclear at this time. Testing for these two cases was done solely by the CDC, prior to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory (GPHL) having the capacity to test for COVID-19.
CDC testing has confirmed the presumptive positive test for COVID-19 in a resident of Floyd County. The original testing was done by GPHL on March 5. The individual is hospitalized.
Additionally, the Georgia Department of Public Health (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 on March 6. The individual recently returned from Italy and was self-monitoring at home, and is now isolated at home.
Health officials still emphasize 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.
“Federal and state officials continue to work closely together to conduct testing and determine the extent of exposure for confirmed cases of COVID-19,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “The risk to Georgians remains low. We ask Georgians to stay vigilant, utilize best practices to mitigate health risk, and remain calm.”
“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, MD, MPH, 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 that we should all be practicing basic prevention measures that are extremely effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and all respiratory illnesses.”
South Fulton residents who have questions about COVID-19 will have an opportunity to hear from the Fulton County Board of Health on Monday, March 9. Representatives will attend the Cliftondale Community Club meeting at 7 p.m. to share information. The meeting will be held at the Cliftondale Clubhouse at 4645 Butner Road behind the tennis courts.
In previous briefings by both state and county officials, all residents have been advised to follow basic prevention measures. They include: washing hands 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 the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; avoid close contact with people who are sick; stay at home if you are sick; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash; and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.