State public health officials have confirmed Polk County’s second death as a result of the new coronavirus happened in mid-June with multiple underlying health conditions playing a role.
The death was first made public as part of the Georgia Department of Public Health’s daily COVID-19 status report on Tuesday, June 30. The person was an 83-year-old woman who suffered from previous chronic illness according to information on the DPH website.
Logan Boss, Northwest Georgia public health district spokesman, said the office was recently notified that the woman died on June 15, was a resident of Polk County and had “multiple underlying conditions.”
He was not able to provide any further information except the DPH investigation was ongoing.
Boss said the woman’s age and pre-existing health conditions are reasons why people should still be cautious when in public or around the most susceptible members of the population.
“There’s a lot we still don’t know about this virus. What we do know is there are risks of severe complications from it — including death — that increase with age and, more significantly, when you start adding underlying health conditions,” Boss said. “And this is another reason why we ask the public to take safety precautions to protect not just ourselves but folks like this who have a higher risk of dying from it.”
A 67-year-old Rockmart man was the first Polk County resident to die from complications of COVID-19 on May 8. It took nearly three weeks for his death to officially be reported by the DPH because of the steps required by the organization to properly identify the cause of death.
Polk County's number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased by three on Wednesday afternoon to 208, with an additional person hospitalized because of the virus for the first time since late May. That number is now at 17.
In the state, the number of confirmed cases has increased to 84,237, up more than 9,200 since Saturday, June 27. The total number of COVID-related deaths reported have gone up by 351 in that same time to 2,827.
Information about those who have died because of the new coronavirus is reported to the department by healthcare providers and medical examiners and coroners or identified by death certificates with COVID-19 identified as the cause of death as the first step in the process.
The death is assigned to the deceased’s county of residence, and the date of death is the date of death reported to DPH or identified on the death certificate.
Information is verified before being recorded and reported by DPH. Sometimes, there may be a lag in the process, so the reporting is not real time.
The Polk County Health Department, located at 125 E Ware St. in Cedartown, continues to offer free drive-up COVID-19 testing from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Anyone wanting to be tested should go to the health department, remain in their vehicle, call 770-749-2270 and say they want to be tested for COVID-19. A nurse will come to the vehicle, obtain contact information and collect the specimen needed for testing. Test results will be reported as soon as available.