The first local death of a COVID-19 patient was recorded on Wednesday, one of 48 deaths in Georgia related to the virus as reported by noon on Thursday.
The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 1,525 confirmed cases in Georgia in its midday report on Thursday, including nine confirmed cases in Gordon County.
AdventHealth Gordon reported their numbers to the county this week. Case tested at that facility included the following results as of Thursday: three positive results, 21 negative results and 19 pending results.
Officials urged caution when considering those number, noting being tested at the hospital doesn't necessarily mean the individual is from Gordon County or is being treated at the hospital.
Each of the DPH’s twice-daily reports has shown a sizable increase in total cases this week, a fact that is in part reflective of improvements in electronic reporting efficiency from commercial laboratories. These reports often have sparse patient data and the DPH will be working to complete these records, so data will change over time, officials say.
Gordon County Emergency Management Director Courtney Taylor said via email to keep in mind that confirmed cases are assigned to the patients’ county of residence, not necessarily where the patient was diagnosed or treated.
“Also, this is all the information that has been shared with Gordon County, as due to HIPPA laws we do not know the names of any patients or fatalities,” Taylor said.
Taylor also asked that residents continue to exercise caution as clear skies and warmer temperatures may tempt people toward outdoor activities.
“We do want to ask our citizens to remain vigilant to COVID-19 guidelines as you possibly plan activities to enjoy this beautiful weather,” he said. “Social distancing is still a key factor in controlling this virus so please keep distances of at least six feet from others and keep gatherings to below the threshold of 10 people. Do yard work, enjoy a bike ride, clean the garage, go for a hike or go for a walk but please remember to do this responsibly and with yours and everyone else’s health in mind.”
Additionally, the Georgia DPH recommends that area residents:
♦ Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
♦ If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
♦ If your children are sick, keep them at home. Do not send them to school. Contact your medical provider.
♦ If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work. Do not go to school. Contact your medical provider.
♦ If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.
♦ If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition that can put you at increased risk (for example, a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.
♦ Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others. It is critical that you do your part to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
According to the DPH, this week’s significant increase in cases is in part reflective of improvement in electronic reporting efficiency from commercial laboratories. These reports often have sparse patient data and DPH will be working to complete these records, so data will change over time.