Three more Floyd County residents succumbed to a COVID-19 infection, making a total of six deaths so far in September.

That brings to 38 the total number of deaths in Floyd County attributed to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — 17 of which were reported in August. According to Department of Public Health statistics, local residents who have died ranged in age from 52 to over 90 and a majority had preexisting medical conditions.

Three of the people who have died were listed as Black, three as unknown and the other 32 as white.

The local deaths are part of the 6,204 Georgians who have died from the disease since March.

Health officials have been concerned about a possible spike after the Labor Day weekend, similar to reported increases after the Memorial Day and Independence Day weekends.

New case numbers in Floyd County had begun to decline after stark increases in late July and August. Floyd County’s average number of cases per day over the past week was at 21 on Thursday, after nearly a month in the 30 to 50 range.

Officials are again urging Georgians to get tested.

“Testing is a key component in our fight to stop COVID-19,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey in a release Thursday. “Governor Kemp and I are asking all Georgians who may be at risk of exposure to the virus after Labor Day to schedule a test at one of our testing sites throughout the state.”

Free testing is available at the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds from Wednesday through Friday this week between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

“I would also recommend that all Georgians go ahead and schedule a flu shot,” Toomey continued. “These two steps can mitigate community spread and keep Georgians healthy as we continue on a positive trajectory with the virus.”

School COVID-19 numbers

Local school systems continue to report new cases and the resulting quarantines as the school year continues.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported the state is in the process of establishing a uniform report for all of Georgia’s school districts. At this point, Rome and Floyd County school systems report COVID-19 numbers somewhat differently.

Floyd County compiles a weekly spreadsheet of new infections and cumulative close contacts ranging from Saturday to Friday and does not differentiate between student and staff infections.

For instance, Floyd County Schools reported 11 new COVID-19 infections in students and staff from Sept. 5 to Sept. 10: six at Armuchee High, two at Coosa High, one at Model High and two at Pepperell High.

During that same time period there was a cumulative total of 260 close contacts in the school system. The Floyd County school system allowed many students deemed as close contacts to return to school. However, the system will return to observing DPH guidelines regarding quarantines on Monday.

Rome City Schools publishes a daily update with new COVID-19 infections and quarantines and specifies if the person is a student or staff member. The school system also publishes a running cumulative total of quarantines in students and staff, but not for confirmed infections.

For instance, Rome City Schools reported eight new positive cases in students on Wednesday — with one each at West Central and West End elementary schools and three each in Rome Middle and Rome High schools.

Those new positive cases added 90 new quarantines, bringing the system’s student quarantine total to 256. There were a total of 17 staff members in quarantine as of Wednesday’s report.

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