The number of Floyd County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 increased to 12 on Tuesday, up two from 10 on Monday, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Locally, Floyd Medical Center and Redmond Regional Medical Center were treating a total of 12 patients, per reports to Tim Herrington, director of the county’s emergency management agency.
The number sometimes varies from the state report because residents from other counties are being treated in Floyd County. It’s unclear how many Floyd County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 are hospitalized.
There were 35 people being treated locally who are waiting on test results and, as of Tuesday, four people who were suspected of having the virus had tested negative for COVID-19.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Georgia soared to 1,097 as of 7 p.m. Tuesday. There were a total of 361 people hospitalized, while the number of deaths rose to 38 — a mortality rate of 3.46%.
The Department of Public Health has not released county by county figures concerning deaths linked to a coronavirus infection. Local hospitals have also declined to release those figures.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency releases county by county figures once a day and the Rome News-Tribune is attempting to verify what appears to be a discrepancy in figures released on Saturday.
As of Tuesday, GEMA reported one fatality in Floyd County, however, the total of fatalities reported in the county by county breakdown did not equal the total released by the state.
“The state does not directly receive many of the test results, so the biggest current lag in reporting is providers receiving results and reporting them to the state,” a GEMA Facebook response read. “Any private provider who orders a test receives the results and then must report them to the Department of Public Health since COVID-19 is a reportable disease.”
State number go up, mortality rates stay low
The state Department of Public Health attributed the significant increase over the 772 confirmed cases reported on Monday in part to “improvement in electronic reporting efficiency from commercial laboratories.”
The virus has spread to 87 counties. Fulton County continues to far outpace the rest with 191 confirmed cases, followed by DeKalb County with 107, Dougherty County with 101, Cobb County with 90 and Bartow County with 76.
Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order requiring Georgians considered at risk of contracting COVID-19 to stay at home took effect at noon Tuesday. Some local governments – including Rome, Atlanta, Athens, Savannah and DeKalb County – have gone further by requiring everyone to stay at home.
With both types of shelter-in-place orders, exceptions include trips to grocery stores and pharmacies and to and from work for those in essential jobs who can’t work from home.
To reassure businesses that need essential personnel to maintain functions, Rome Floyd Development Authority President Missy Kendrick said they would assist their existing industries.
“If necessary, we will provide you with a letter of authorization to share with your employees if they have any concerns about travel or if they need reassurance in these troubled times,” Kendrick wrote in an email. “Thank you for doing your part in helping contain and — hopefully eliminate — this virus in our community.”
Recommendations for those who cannot work from home include: keeping at least six feet of space from co-workers, washing hands and regularly cleaning surfaces.
As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, 5,484 Georgians had been tested for the coronavirus, with the state handling 1,378 of the tests and commercial labs handling the other 4,106.
The highest prevalence of the virus was among those between the ages of 18 and 59, with 56% of the cases in that group. Georgians age 60 and older accounted for 35% of cases.
Women accounted for slightly more COVID-19 cases than men.
The Department of Public Health issued a call Tuesday for volunteers. Medically-trained volunteers are answering COVID-19 questions by phone and helping at testing sites. Nonmedical volunteers may be used for administrative or other help.
Kemp also asked businesses that make or distribute health care supplies such as masks and gowns to send information to state government.
Ben Hill 1
Based on patient county of residence when known