Numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19, while growing, remain almost artificially low and public health officials expect them to continue rising.
“We expect many more cases, especially with increased testing, and, sadly, more deaths,” said Dr. Gary Voccio, the health director of the Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District.
As of Friday, Floyd County had six people hospitalized with positive cases of COVID-19 and 29 cases awaiting testing, according to Floyd EMA Director Tim Herrington.
As of Friday evening, one Floyd County woman who tested positive for COVID-19 had died and they’re still awaiting testing results for another patient who died locally. Statewide there are a total of 14 deaths attributed to COVID-19.
In Georgia, there were a total of 485 positive tests as of 7 p.m. Friday and 2,386 people have been tested for COVID-19, according to the Department of Public Health.
Floyd County has a total of seven cases confirmed by the state.
“Unless CDC and local government social-distancing recommendations to put space between yourself and others and limit the size of gatherings are followed diligently, we can expect this increase in cases and deaths to continue,” Voccio said.
Floyd Medical Center and Redmond Regional Medical Center have closed their doors to visitors with a few exceptions and, on Friday, Harbin Clinic followed suit.
A Harbin release stated they are screening patients by phone as well as in person when checking in.
A majority of those who have tested positive were still in metro-Atlanta. Fulton County has 88 confirmed cases, Bartow County has 54 confirmed cases, Cobb County has 47 confirmed cases, DeKalb County has 36 confirmed cases and Gwinnett County has 23 confirmed cases.
One county stands out in south Georgia. There are now 44 confirmed cases in Dougherty County, where public health officials are attempting to gauge an outbreak of the illness.
Gov. Brian Kemp ordered more than $19.5 million Friday transferred from the Governor’s Emergency Fund to go toward the state’s response to coronavirus.
Before suspending the 2020 legislative session last week because of the pandemic, the General Assembly added $100 million to the mid-year state budget at the governor’s request to deal with the crisis. The governor signed the spending plan earlier this week.
The money will help the state Department of Public Health and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency buy medical supplies and equipment.
Also on Friday, Kemp filled out the rosters of four committees of a Coronavirus Task Force of state agency heads, legislators, business leaders, health-care executives and other subject matter experts.
Separately, the committees will address the economic impact of coronavirus, emergency preparedness, primary care providers and how coronavirus is affecting Georgia’s homeless.