420 with COVID-19 confirmed in Georgia
Published 3:48 pm Friday, March 20, 2020
As confirmed cases and deaths from Coronavirus continued to climb around Georgia on Friday, Bainbridge thankfully remains without a positive test result of the virus.
According to Memorial Hospital and Manor, there are test results still being waited on. As a result of shortages of COVID-19 test kits MHM will not be performing tests on outpatients, the hospital said on its website. The hospital is restricting testing to inpatients and patients with a physician order who are exhibiting significant symptoms such as respiratory complications. As more test kits become available, MHM will expand testing.
There have been 420 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Georgia and 13 deaths, according to the Georgia Department of Health. The virus has expanded to 50 Georgia counties. Dougherty County is the closest county to Decatur County with the most confirmed cases at 57 and four deaths, according to Phoebe-Putney Hospital’s website. Miller and Early County each had one confirmed case on Friday.
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While elderly Georgians are considered most vulnerable to contracting the virus, 41 percent of those testing positive for coronavirus as of Friday were between the ages of 18 and 59. Thirty-three percent of the current cases were Georgians 60 years of age or older.
Between the state and private labs, 2,386 Georgians have been tested for coronavirus. Gov. Brian Kemp and state health officials are calling for prioritizing the limited number of available test kits so that the elderly, health-care workers and other first responders are tested first.
While Kemp has not imposed a mandatory stay-home order, a strategy the governors of California and New York have resorted to during the last two days, he is urging Georgians to practice social distancing and wash their hands frequently. The governor is leaving decisions on closing businesses up to local governments and the companies themselves.
“Life as we know it has changed dramatically over the past few weeks,” said Kemp. “Across Georgia, children are home from school, and many Georgians are working remotely. Public gatherings are few and far between – for good reason – while some healthcare facilities, including Georgia hospitals, are ramping up capacity, seeing more and more patients, and providing critical treatment for those in need. Leaders at the federal, state, and local level are working hard to make the right calls and keep people safe. There are no easy answers, and the guidance continues to change as we fight to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
According to Kemp, news from the White House has confirmed that vaccine development and anti-viral therapies are moving along quicker than originally expected.