Piedmont Healthcare says patients sent home for isolation

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Piedmont Healthcare explained their situation in the expanding coronavirus outbreak. “Piedmont has seen several patients who, after screening, have been sent home for self-isolation according to DPH and CDC guidelines,” the statement read.

The statement applies to the whole system of Piedmont facilities, and does not confirm if any are local to Fayette.

Uncomfirmed Facebook posts late Monday afternoon indicated two cases may be in Fayette County. 

This follows further developments regarding COVID-19 in Georgia. Governor Kemp and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) remind all Georgians that the overall risk of COVID-19 to the general public remains low, and there is no evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in Georgia at this time.

DPH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed three additional cases of COVID-19 in Georgia.

One individual is from Cobb County who recently returned from Italy and is isolated at home. The second individual is from Fulton County and is hospitalized. The source of this individual’s exposure is unclear at this time. Testing for these two cases was done solely by the CDC, prior to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory (GPHL) having the capacity to test for COVID-19.

CDC testing has confirmed the presumptive positive test for COVID-19 in a resident of Floyd County. The original testing was done by GPHL on March 5. The individual is hospitalized.

Additionally, DPH is awaiting confirmatory testing on a presumptive positive test for COVID-19 in a resident of Gwinnett County. The initial testing was completed by GPHL on March 6. The individual recently returned from Italy and was self-monitoring at home, and is now isolated at home.

“Federal and state officials continue to work closely together to conduct testing and determine the extent of exposure for confirmed cases of COVID-19. The risk to Georgians remains low. We ask Georgians to stay vigilant, utilize best practices to mitigate health risk, and remain calm,” said Governor Kemp.

“DPH is prepared to mitigate the spread of this virus in our state, and we are aggressively working to identify anyone who may have had contact with these individuals,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, MD, MPH, DPH Commissioner. “Despite these new cases, the overall risk of COVID-19 to the general public remains low, but each new case of COVID-19 in Georgia reinforces the fact that we should all be practicing basic prevention measures that are extremely effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and all respiratory illnesses.”

All Georgians should follow basic prevention measures:

• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20  seconds. 

• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Stay home when you are sick. 

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you have recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 and you develop fever with cough and shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, stay home and call your health care provider or local health department right away. 

Be sure to call before going to a doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care center and tell them about your recent travel and symptoms.

For information about COVID-19, visit dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.

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