Ask The Doc! Breast Implant Lymphoma and Throat Cancer

Lifestyle
ask the doc

This morning, the doctors discuss Breast Implant Lymphoma. How common is it? Did the Surgeon make a mistake? The Doctors also touch on Throat Cancer of the Epiglottis. Is the treatment plan correct? The doctors also discuss Covid-19 and the vaccine. What’s True And What’s False? Which of the Vaccines is the most effective?

 

Ask The Doc! Types Of Breast Cancer And The Flu Season

Community
ask the doc

This week, the doctors discuss the different types of breast cancer. They also touch on a question from a viewer regarding the treatment of their husband’s heart tumors. Is he getting the right treatment? What happened to Flu Season? What’s the latest on Covid-19? All this and more on Ask The Doc!

 

Ask The Doc: Long Term Effects of Surviving Cancer

Just For Fun, Lifestyle
ask the doc, Surface time

This week, Dr. Whaley and Dr. Raymond Tidman discuss some questions sent in by viewers. They touch on the long term effects of Cancer and some possible complications of surviving cancer. They also discuss how to know when you’re cured of cancer. Is there anyway to prevent future complications for cancer survivors? The doctors also discuss the current numbers of cancer survivors compared to in the past.

 

Ask The Doc! Gastric Bypass Complications And Sarcomas

Lifestyle
ask the doc

This morning, the Doctors discuss Gastric Bypass Surgery and its complications. When is this surgery needed? What are its complications? They also answer a question regarding a Sarcoma. Dr. Whaley discusses why you shouldn’t google medical information. They also discuss the latest vaccine news. Who should be receiving the vaccine?

 

Ask the Doc! Cologuards and the Lance Armstrong Shot

Community
ask the doc

Dr. William Whaley has returned for the new year and is ready to answer your questions about colonoscopies vs the Cologuard test and the other about Myelodysplasia and the Lance Armstrong shot.

 

 

Ask The Doc! Fighting Off Covid-19

Community, Lifestyle
Ask The Doc! Recovery Process Of Covid-19

This morning, The doctors address a comment left on one of the Ask The Doc Segments. What drugs are good for fighting off Covid-19 or do we just wait on a vaccine? The Doctors also address the President and first lady testing positive for Covid-19. What do the Doctors have to say about testing positive with no symptoms? When could he have contracted the virus? How long has he had it? All this and more on Ask The Doc!

 

Ask The Doc! College And Covid-19

Lifestyle
Ask The Doc! Recovery Process Of Covid-19

This morning, the doctors discuss how colleges are dealing with Covid-19. When a Student tests positive, the colleges continue classes and give the infected student their own quarantined dorm. Is this the approach we should be taking with everything? Should we worry over the numbers? Hear Doctor Whaley and Doctor Tidman’s point of view on this right here on Ask the Doc!

 

UPDATE: Rabun has 139 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3 deaths

Health, News

July 23 update: RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health now lists the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as 139 and three deaths.

According to the DPH data, the deceased patients were a 68-year-old, white female who had underlying conditions, 37-year-old, white female, with no underlying conditions, and an 82-year-old, white male with underlying conditions. No other details were released about the individuals.

Also, 24 Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 94
  • Habersham – 904
  • Macon, N.C. – 424
  • Clay, N.C. – 49
  • Oconee, S.C. – 615

Currently, DPH isn’t releasing recovery data in its reports. However, it should be noted that the majority of confirmed Rabun cases aren’t hospitalized – meaning they are probably recovering at home or experiencing mild symptoms.

July 22 update: RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health now lists the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as 134 and three deaths.

According to the DPH data, the deceased patients were a 68-year-old, white female who had underlying conditions, 37-year-old, white female, with no underlying conditions, and an 82-year-old, white male with underlying conditions. No other details were released about the individuals.

Also, 24 Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 85
  • Habersham – 890
  • Macon, N.C. – 415
  • Clay, N.C. – 41
  • Oconee, S.C. – 585

Currently, DPH isn’t releasing recovery data in its reports. However, it should be noted that the majority of confirmed Rabun cases aren’t hospitalized – meaning they are probably recovering at home or experiencing mild symptoms.

June 23 update: RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health now lists the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as 36 and three deaths.

According to the DPH data, the deceased patients were a 68-year-old, white female who had underlying conditions, 37-year-old, white female, with no underlying conditions, and an 82-year-old, white male with underlying conditions. No other details were released about the individuals.

Also, 14 Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 36
  • Habersham – 644
  • Macon, N.C. – 256
  • Clay, N.C. – 9
  • Oconee, S.C. – 142

Currently, DPH isn’t releasing recovery data in its reports. However, it should be noted that the majority of confirmed Rabun cases aren’t hospitalized – meaning they are probably recovering at home or experiencing mild symptoms.

June 17 update: RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health now lists the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as 33 and three deaths.

According to the DPH data, the deceased patients were a 68-year-old, white female who had underlying conditions, 37-year-old, white female, with no underlying conditions, and an 82-year-old, white male with underlying conditions. No other details were released about the individuals.

Also, 15 Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 35
  • Habersham – 612
  • Macon, N.C. – 236
  • Clay, N.C. – 9
  • Oconee, S.C. – 95

Currently, DPH isn’t releasing recovery data in its reports. However, it should be noted that the majority of confirmed Rabun cases aren’t hospitalized – meaning they are probably recovering at home or experiencing mild symptoms.

June 15 update: RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health now lists the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as 32 and three deaths.

According to the DPH data, the deceased patients were a 68-year-old, white female who had underlying conditions, 37-year-old, white female, with no underlying conditions, and an 82-year-old, white male with underlying conditions. No other details were released about the individuals.

Also, 14 Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 35
  • Habersham – 596
  • Macon, N.C. – 231
  • Clay, N.C. – 9
  • Oconee, S.C. – 61

Currently, DPH isn’t releasing recovery data in its reports. However, it should be noted that the majority of confirmed Rabun cases aren’t hospitalized – meaning they are probably recovering at home or experiencing mild symptoms.

June 11 update: RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health now lists the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as 30 and two deaths.

According to the DPH data, the deceased patients were a 68-year-old, white, female who had underlying conditions and an 82-year-old, white male with underlying conditions. No other details were released about the individuals.

Also, 12 Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 32
  • Habersham – 576
  • Macon, N.C. – 159
  • Clay, N.C. – 8
  • Oconee, S.C. – 61

Currently, DPH isn’t releasing recovery data in its reports. However, it should be noted that the majority of confirmed Rabun cases aren’t hospitalized – meaning they are probably recovering at home or experiencing mild symptoms.

June 3 update: RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health now lists the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as 23 and one death.

According to the DPH data, the deceased patients were a 68-year-old female who had underlying conditions. No other details were released about the individuals.

Also, eight Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 24
  • Habersham – 530
  • Macon, N.C. – 89
  • Clay, N.C. – 8
  • Oconee, S.C. – 48

Currently, DPH isn’t releasing recovery data in its reports. However, it should be noted that the majority of confirmed Rabun cases aren’t hospitalized – meaning they are probably recovering at home or experiencing mild symptoms.

May 27 update: RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health now lists the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as 17 and back to one death.

Twice now DPH has reported multiple COVID-19 related deaths in Rabun only to drop the number back to one.

According to the DPH data, the deceased patients were a 68-year-old female who had underlying conditions. No other details were released about the individuals.

Also, six Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment. This is one down from previous reports.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 23
  • Habersham – 511
  • Macon, N.C. – 18
  • Clay, N.C. – 8
  • Oconee, S.C. – 48

Currently, DPH isn’t releasing recovery data in its reports. However, it should be noted that the majority of confirmed Rabun cases aren’t hospitalized – meaning they are probably recovering at home or experiencing mild symptoms.

May 18 update: RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health now lists the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as 15 and two deaths. This is the first DPH confirmed increase in cases since May 9.

According to the DPH data, the deceased patients were a 68-year-old female who had underlying conditions and a 25-year-old female with no underlying conditions. No other details were released about the individuals.

Also, five Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment. This is one down from previous reports.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 21
  • Habersham – 455
  • Macon, N.C. – 5
  • Clay, N.C. – 8
  • Oconee, S.C. – 41

Currently, DPH isn’t releasing recovery data in its reports. However, it should be noted that the majority of confirmed Rabun cases aren’t hospitalized – meaning they are probably recovering at home or experiencing mild symptoms.

May 9 update: RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health now lists the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as 14 and one death.

Cases could see a rapid increase because, on Friday, May 8 DPH opened testing up to all Georgians, whether they show symptoms or not. Anyone who wants to be tested needs to contact their local health department.

According to the DPH data, the deceased patient was a 68-year-old female who had underlying conditions. Also, five Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment. This is one down from previous reports.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 20
  • Habersham – 386
  • Macon, N.C. – 3
  • Clay, N.C. – 8
  • Oconee, S.C. – 29

Currently, DPH isn’t releasing recovery data in its reports. However, it should be noted that the majority of confirmed Rabun cases aren’t hospitalized – meaning they are probably recovering at home or experiencing mild symptoms.

May 4 update: RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health now lists the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as 13 and one death.

According to the DPH data, the deceased patient was a 68-year-old female who had underlying conditions. Also, five Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment. This is one down from previous reports.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 19
  • Habersham – 355
  • Macon, N.C. – 3
  • Clay, N.C. – 5
  • Oconee, S.C. – 27

Currently, DPH isn’t releasing recovery data in its reports. However, it should be noted that the majority of confirmed Rabun cases aren’t hospitalized – meaning they are probably recovering at home or experiencing mild symptoms.

May 1 update: RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health added another COVID-19 case to Rabun County’s tally bringing it up to 14 total.

No other details were provided. According to the DPH data, six Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 22
  • Habersham – 326
  • Macon, N.C. – 3
  • Clay, N.C. – 5
  • Oconee, S.C. – 24

April 30 update:

RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health added another COVID-19 case to Rabun County’s tally bringing it up to 13 total. Also, the previously listed death has disappeared from the report.

No other details were provided. According to the DPH data, five Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 21
  • Habersham – 257
  • Macon, N.C. – 3
  • Clay, N.C. – 5
  • Oconee, S.C. – 24

April 28 update:

RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health added another COVID-19 case to Rabun County’s tally bringing it up to 12 total. Also, as of 12 p.m. on April 28, the DPH provided notification of one COVID-19-related death in the county.

No other details were provided about the new case or death. According to the DPH data, four Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 21
  • Habersham – 212
  • Macon, N.C. – 2
  • Clay, N.C. – 5
  • Oconee, S.C. – 24

April 27 update:

RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health added another COVID-19 case to Rabun County’s tally bringing it up to 10 total.

No other details were provided about the new case. According to the DPH data, four Rabun County residents have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 20
  • Habersham – 119
  • Macon, N.C. – 2
  • Clay, N.C. – 5
  • Oconee, S.C. – 24

April 22 update:

RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health added another COVID-19 case to Rabun County’s tally bringing it up to nine total.

No other details were provided about the new case.

Counties surrounding Rabun:

  • Towns – 19
  • Habersham – 130
  • Macon, N.C. – 2
  • Clay, N.C. – 5
  • Oconee, S.C. – 19

April 8 update:

RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Georgia Department of Public Health added another COVID-19 case to Rabun County’s tally bringing it up to six total.

On the Rabun County EMA Facebook page, they asked the public to, “Please make sure you are staying home and let’s try and keep this number down.”

Health Department District Two also issued a letter on April 8 urging people to only travel when necessary and informed the public that some district staff has been reassigned to aid with contact tracing.

The letter also said that nurses are contacting individuals who might test positive and providing them with a course of action. This is the same procedure for any infectious disease. It didn’t address telling the public at large if a positive case attended any gatherings or events before developing symptoms.

Original story and April 7 update below:

RABUN COUNTY, Ga – In Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) April 7, 12 p.m. report, it confirmed that Rabun County has five cases of COVID-19.

The reports don’t provide details about individuals. Fetch Your News will update the story as information becomes available. Please keep the patient and their family in your thoughts and prayers.

Georgia now has 8,818 cases and 329 deaths.

Rabun County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency on Sunday, April 5.

In March, Clayton and Dillard announced city-wide closures for on-premise dining.

Towns County which neighbors Rabun has two cases. Habersham to the south has six confirmed cases.

Macon County, N.C. to the north has one case and one death. Clay County, N.C. has three cases. N.C.’s COVID-19 report is released daily by 11 a.m.

Oconee County, S.C. has eight confirmed cases as of April 6 at 4 p.m.

However, medical professionals have stated that Georgia and many states are almost a week behind on processed tests. It’s likely that more cases will be recorded as the labs catch up. Fetch Your News (FYN) has chosen to report only on cases confirmed by DPH, even though these aren’t necessarily to-the-minute because of lab backlogs. FYN’s also contacting other sources to gain more information.

Stay with FYN as we bring you up-to-date news about the spread of the virus in North Georgia and Western North Carolina. See the latest numbers here.

COVID-19 testing site changes effective June 28

Community, Health
testing

GAINESVILLE, GA – District 2 Public Health announces updates to specimen collection site (testing site) schedules effective June 28. Due to the much warmer summer temperatures, all sites will now close by 1:00 pm.

For convenience, an appointment is recommended at each of the Specimen Point of Collection sites. Please call your local health department to schedule an appointment for testing.

Here is a list of our sites and times of operation.

Forsyth County (Central Forsyth HS)                   Wednesday                            8:30 am to 1:00 pm

Franklin County (Health Department)                 Tuesday                                  8:30 am to 1:00 pm

Friday                                     8:30 am to 1:00 pm

Habersham County (Health Department)           Wednesday                            8:30 am to 1:00 pm

Saturday                                 8:30 am to 12:00 pm

Hall County (Allen Creek Soccer Complex)           Mon., Thurs.                           8:30 am to 1:00 pm

Saturday                                 8:30 am to 12:00 pm

Sunday                                   9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Lumpkin County (Health Department)                Wednesday                            8:30 am to 1:00 pm

 Towns County (Health Department)                     Friday                                     8:30 am to 1:00 pm

Call your local health department for an appointment. PDF of new hours

Kemp opens bars and renews state of emergency

State & National
bars

ATLANTA, Ga – Gov. Brian Kemp decided to continue the state of emergency and stay at home order for the elderly and at-risk individuals through July 12. However, the governor also announced the reopening of bars, amusement parks, night clubs, professional sports, and overnight summer camps.

Music venues must remain closed.

Kemp issued timelines for the lifting of each restriction.

May 31 Openings

  • Overnight Summer Camps

June 1 Openings

  • Gatherings of 25 people will be allowed – if the area meets space requirements
  • Bars
  • Night Clubs
  • Professional Sports
  • Amateur Sports

June 12 Openings

  • Amusement Parks
  • Water Parks

Georgia will not mandate citizens to wear masks, but Kemp highly encourages everyone to wear masks in crowded areas and public places.

66 percent of nursing home residents have been tested for COVID-19. On June 1, the Department of Public Health will move to once-daily updates of coronavirus numbers.

Operation changes to COVID-19 specimen collection sites

Health, Lifestyle
specimen collection sites

GAINESVILLE, GA – Nine specimen collection sites operated jointly by the Georgia National Guard and Augusta University ended operations effective May 30. As of June 1, several sites changed their operating hours. Those interested in receiving a COVID-19 test are strongly encouraged to call and make an appointment.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) will continue to operate 136 specimen collection sites throughout the state, and encourages Georgians wanting to be tested for COVID-19 to contact their local health department to schedule an appointment.

During the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Georgia National Guard and Augusta University joined DPH in its testing efforts by providing a web-based screening and scheduling platform and additional specimen collection sites. To date, more than 44,000 people have been tested at AU Health and partnered sites.

“This partnership with the Guard and Augusta University was invaluable to the COVID-19 response in Georgia,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner. “We are grateful for their service to all Georgians, and for the support and capacity they provided DPH to increase testing for COVID-19.”

The Guard will continue to provide staffing and logistical help at DPH specimen collection sites, as well as its mission of assisting DPH with testing residents and staff in long-term care facilities. Augusta University will provide ongoing specimen collections at its two sites in the Augusta area; Christenberry Fieldhouse in Augusta and Patriot’s Park in Columbia County.

COVID-19 testing is available to all Georgians, whether they have symptoms or not. Individuals wanting to be tested should contact their local health department to schedule an appointment at a location convenient to them. Contact information for local health departments and specimen collection sites can be found on the DPH website at dph.ga.gov. People can also use the AU Health ExpressCare app or call the hotline at 706-721-1852 to be scheduled at a DPH or AU Health-operated location.

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

Georgia DPH distributes Remdesivir to hospitals for treatment of COVID-19

Health, Press Release
remdesivir

Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is distributing an initial allotment of the drug Remdesivir received from the federal government. Georgia received 30 cases, with 40 vials of the drug per case, enough to treat about 110 patients, depending on the duration of an individual’s treatment. Remdesivir is an antiviral medicine being used to treat hospitalized patients with serious symptoms caused by COVID-19 like low oxygen levels or pneumonia. It has been found to shorten the duration of disease in patients being treated in inpatient hospital settings.

Remdesivir is given intravenously (IV) and decreases the amount of coronavirus in the body, helping patients recover faster.

The distribution plan for Remdesivir in Georgia was developed by DPH leadership, including district health directors and emergency preparedness staff, in accordance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for its use. It is based on the number of patients on ventilators, the most severely ill, and clinical best practices.

Georgia hospitals receiving Remdesivir reported 10 or more COVID-19 positive patients on ventilators, in addition to patients currently being treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a machine that takes over the work of the heart and lungs. These criteria are subject to change based on the availability of Remdesivir and
the development of patient care at hospital facilities across the state.

The following hospitals are receiving Remdesivir; Tift Regional Medical Center, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, Grady Health System, Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, and Augusta University Medical Center.

“DPH is pleased to have the opportunity to share this promising treatment with hospitals on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., DPH commissioner. “While this drug is not a cure for COVID-19, getting it into the hospitals and improving patient outcomes is moving in the right direction.”

Georgia has received a second, much larger allotment of Remdesivir. DPH is surveying hospitals statewide over the weekend to determine need. This second allotment will be distributed next week.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. committed to supplying approximately 607,000 vials of the experimental drug over the next six weeks to treat an estimated 78,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients under an emergency use agreement (EUA). The donation to the United States is part of 1.5 million vials of Remdesivir the company is donating worldwide.

Remdesivir has not been approved by the FDA for widespread use because it is considered investigational, and it is still being studied. Remdesivir was originally developed for use against Ebola. Clinical trials for Remdesivir were done in Georgia at Emory University Hospital.

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

For updates on the COVID-19 situation as it develops, follow @GaDPH, @GeorgiaEMA, and @GovKemp on Twitter, and @GaDPH, @GEMA.OHS, and @GovKemp on Facebook

Free COVID-19 Testing in North GA Memorial Day Weekend

Health, Lifestyle

District 2 announces changes in specimen collection sites

Community, Health
testing guidelines specimen collection

GAINESVILLE, GA – District 2 Public Health announces updates to schedules, testing criteria and specimen collection sites. Previous testing criteria was to test individuals with fever, cough and shortness of breath. Due to new testing criteria from Georgia Department of Public Health District 2 anyone with or without symptoms can now be tested for Covid-19.

The Specimen Point of Collection (SPOC) in Hall County will now operate as follows:

Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The Hall County SPOC is closed on Saturday and Sunday.

A Specimen Point of Collection (SPOC) will be opened at Habersham County Health Department. This site will be open Saturday from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm, and Sunday from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. The Habersham site will begin operations on Saturday, May 16.

For convenience, we urge residents to call their local health department or the call center to schedule a time to get tested. With an appointment, the average time to get through the SPOC is three to five minutes. All county health departments will continue to schedule appointments during normal business hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. The call center hours are: 8:30 am to 7:00 pm, every day including Saturday and Sunday.

Specimen Collection sites in Franklin and Towns Counties will continue to operate on Tuesday and Friday of each week. Residents can contact the call center above, or call Franklin County Health Department at 706-384-5575, or call Hart County Health Department at 706-376-5117 to schedule testing at the Franklin County Health Department. To schedule testing at the Towns County Health Department, residents can call Towns County Health Department at 706-896-2265, Union County Health Department at 706-745-6292 or Rabun County Health Department at 706-212-0289.

Remember, for your convenience an appointment is needed at each of the Specimen Point of Collection. Please call the call center 770-531-5600 or your local health department to schedule an appointment for testing.

Kemp changes restaurant and childcare restrictions

Announcements, State & National
childcare

ATLANTA, Ga – On May 12, Gov. Brian Kemp continued to ease restrictions on certain industries – restaurants and childcare – to assist Ga businesses as the state returns to normal.

Childcare facilities now can operate with up to 20 children in a classroom instead of 10 as long as the instructor-to-child ratio is maintained. Departments of Early Care and Learning and Public Health reportedly okayed this expansion and ensured it could be accomplished safely.

Many parents in Ga are returning to work and have encountered difficulty finding childcare services.

“Childcare facilities must continue to adhere to thirteen minimum, mandatory criteria to be able to operate, including strict screening procedures and sanitation mandates for frequently touched items and surfaces. In that same vein, countless families have reached out to my office to discuss how summer camps can safely operate as we battle the spread of COVID-19,” Kemp explained.

Summer day camps have also received the okay to open on May 14 if facilities can meet the 32 requirements developed by the Department of Public Health, constituents, and summer camp operators. The CDC has yet to weigh in on the criteria, but Kemp appeared confident that their plan would move forward.

However, overnight camps are still closed, but eventually, these facilities might be able to open under a case by case basis.

As for restaurants, those who have already opened or considering opening can now allow up to 10 patrons per 300 sq. feet and seat groups of 10. Previously the maximum number at a table was six.

Kemp praised the food industry, “Throughout this pandemic, our restaurant owners and their employees have done a remarkable job in keeping local families fed. These hardworking Georgians have followed the rules, doing the right thing, even when it wasn’t easy.”

Live performance venues, bars, and nightclubs must remain closed through May 31, 2020.

The social distancing and gathering ban on more than 10 people are still in effect unless six feet of separation is possible. The ban applied to all non-critical infrastructure businesses, local governments, and organizations of all types, including social groups, informal get-togethers, and recreational sports, just to name a few. Georgians can expect these protocols to last through at least the end of the month.

“We continue to strongly encourage people to wear face coverings when out in public, and we thank everyone for their willingness to do the right thing,” Kemp added. “The shelter in place provision for medically fragile and Georgians aged 65 and older remains in effect through June 12, 2020.”

Starting on May 18, state agencies will begin transitioning back into in-office services.

As of noon today, Georgia has received its first shipment of Remdesivir from the federal government – thirty cases with forty vials of the drug per case. The Department of Public Health will determine how it will be distributed.

Nursing Home Testing

Georgia’s National Guard has tested 46% of all nursing home residents and 24% of staff at those facilities. However, an estimated 46,000 people who still need to be tested. In total, the Guard has tested 142 nursing homes. The National Guard will continue to test everyone at these facilities until they reach 100 percent.

The press conference did address the re-testing of facilities is new cases are found after the initial testing. Department of Community Health releases daily updates on the status of COVID-19 in nursing homes across Ga.

“As we aggressively test more nursing homes and long-term care facilities, we may see a sharper increase in positive test results. By doing this, it will allow medical providers to intervene earlier and try to mitigate adverse outcomes among vulnerable Georgians. Right now, nursing home, assisted living, and personal care home residents and staff make up 18.5% of our total positive cases, and 49% of total deaths involve nursing home, assisted living, and personal care home residents. We ask everyone to continue to protect the elderly and medically fragile, and we will continue to work around the clock to ensure quick, convenient testing is available for all Georgians,” Kemp explained.

Anyone in Ga can now be tested for COVID-19 either through their local health departments or by downloading the Augusta University ExpressCare app, visit augustahealth.org, or call (706) 721-1852.

“With nearly 250 staff in the field today, the Department of Public Health is making progress. Under the leadership of Dr. Toomey, DPH plans to have 1,000 staff deployed in the coming weeks. To streamline contact tracing across the state, we are rolling out a new online monitoring tool – the Healthy Georgia Collaborative – which allows Georgians to identify contacts and monitor symptoms. Health data remains completely confidential. This monitoring tool does not collect any data other than what is entered by the contact. This is how the process works: residents who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by trained public health staff, who will work with that individual to recall anyone that they might’ve had close contact with while infectious. Those contacts will then be interviewed by DPH to help us map and isolate the spread of COVID-19 in communities across the state. If you are contacted by DPH staff, we strongly encourage you to participate in the contact tracing program,” Kemp said about contact tracing.

The governor also urged anyone who needs to visit their doctor for regular appointments or concerns outside of COVID-19 to please do so. Doctors’ offices and emergency rooms have protocols in place to prevent individuals from contracting the virus. Now is not a time to gamble with anyone’s health to avoid COVID-19.

Posted by Governor Brian Kemp on Tuesday, May 12, 2020

COVID-19 testing available to all Georgians

Press Release
testing

Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has reached its goal of testing 100,000 individuals in 10 days. More than 108,000 tests were processed since Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H, set the DPH goal last week.

“This is an important benchmark for Georgia as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the state,” said Toomey. “Increased testing is critical to understanding where there are hotspots of infection and how best to mitigate them.”

Effective immediately, testing is available to all Georgians who request it, whether they have symptoms or not. There are more than 65 specimen point of collection sites (SPOC) throughout the state, with an additional 30 mobile SPOCs –  locations and hours vary daily.

Individuals wanting to be tested can contact any Georgia public health department to schedule an appointment at a SPOC location convenient to them. Contact information for local health departments can be found on the DPH homepage at

https://dph.georgia.gov/.

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

For updates on the COVID-19 situation as it develops, follow @GaDPH, @GeorgiaEMA, and @GovKemp on Twitter, and @GaDPH, @GEMA.OHS, and @GovKemp on Facebook.

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