Northwest Georgia health care leaders urge action to stem COVID-19 spread

Gordon County Health Department, 310 N. River St.

New local COVID cases are steady this week, and the streak of no local deaths continues.

Over the past week, Gordon County saw 28 new cases and no deaths. Across Georgia, 13,566 new cases and 67 deaths were reported.

While Gordon County numbers are just about the same, cases are down by about a thousand statewide. Deaths, however, have gone up over last week — 49 to 67. Deaths often lag behind higher case numbers several weeks.

Gordon County’s Community Level has dropped back to the Low category due to a drop in the seven-day average of new cases. This means that individuals should stay up to date on their COVID vaccines, get tested if they have symptoms, and wear a mask if they have symptoms, a positive test, or COVID exposure. Around 57.51% of the country remains at a Low Community Level, a number that has now dramatically dropped.

The CDC reevaluates its Community Levels every week, and bases its choice of level on hospitalization data and the number of cases per 100k population.

An FDA panel has okayed COVID shots for those under the age of five. Both Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines have been given the nod by the panel of vaccine advisers, meaning that the benefits of the shots outweigh any risks they may carry.

If there are no holdups, those shots could be available for kids as early as next week. While deaths in younger populations have been much lower, kids have still been hospitalized and have died from COVID-19. The new shots would give needed protection to that vulnerable group.

At the same time, the CDC has now rescinded its order to show a negative COVID test before boarding a flight to the U.S. The withdrawal was effective June 12.

“CDC continues to recommend that those travelers boarding a flight to the U.S. get tested for current infection with a viral test as close to the time of departure as possible (no more than 3 days) and not travel if they are sick,” said the organization in a press release.

That change was brought around by high vaccination rates, greater availability of therapeutics, and the lower risk of severe disease and death in the United States. The CDC also noted that it would reassess the need for that requirement if the situation changes.

Finally, the free DPH testing sites in Catoosa and Paulding counties will be closed on Monday, June 20. Normal hours resume on Tuesday. The Rome testing site, 1400 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., will be open normal operating hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine or booster appointment, log on to or call (888) 457-0186 for the Health Department Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line.

Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or those who have been in close contact with an individual with COVID-19, should be tested regardless of vaccination status. At DPH/Mako Medical test sites, testing is free of charge. Each household can order eight free at-home tests at

To find a COVID-19 test site, log on to


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