ATLANTA — New coronavirus cases have been identified in Georgia, according to officials.
One person from Cobb County who recently returned from Italy is isolated at home. A third Fulton County resident has been confirmed to have the virus and has been hospitalized. The source of this person’s exposure is unclear at this time.
This person joins two others in Fulton County who were the first in Georgia to have been diagnosed with the illness.
And a Polk County resident - previously reported by health officials as being from Floyd County - has also been confirmed to have coronavirus after testing positive in initial tests. That person is in isolation and was hospitalized at Floyd Medical Center.
The latest cases and confirmations bring the total confirmed cases in Georgia up to five.
According to Gov. Brian Kemp and other state officials, 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.
In addition, the state Department of Health is awaiting confirmation on a presumptive positive test for coronavirus for a resident of Gwinnett County and another in Fulton County.
“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 Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen E. Toomey in a release. “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.”
This brings the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Georgia to five.
“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 in a release on Saturday morning.
The announcement comes one day after President Donald Trump visited the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to observe the lab where the materials that go into the diagnostic test and vaccines are generated.
According to CDC director Robert Redfield, who was also on hand with Trump during his visit, they outlined the specifics of the lab.
"They've done an incredible job," the president remarked. "They heard there was a problem in China and they' started working. That's why we're in good shape."
Redfield said they developed the test after seven days, and said 4 million tests are set to be ready by the end of the week. Azar added that 700,000 tests have shipped so far this week.
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