Grady County reached a tragic milestone this week with the death of the first local person from COVID-19. The woman, who had not been identified by name at press-time, is a 57-year-old woman, according to the state Department of Public Health. Whether she had any underlying conditions was unknown, according to D.P.H. information.
The number of Grady County residents testing positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, more than doubled in the last week. As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, there were 21 positive cases, twice as many as last Tuesday’s number of 10.
Grady County Health Department director, Michelle Thornton, urges the public to follow Gov. Brian Kemp’s shelter-in-place order and the local emergency declaration. “Stay isolated and quarantined when told to do so,” Thornton says.
Local residents are reminded that anyone who has been tested and is awaiting results, or anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, should self-quarantine at home, except to travel to and from healthcare providers. Only necessary travel for groceries or pharmaceuticals is allowed, and only businesses deemed essential are in operation.
As of Tuesday, Grady General Hospital had six inpatients who had tested positive for COVID-19.
Ashley Griffin, a spokeswoman for Archbold Medical Centers, which operates G.G.H., announced Tuesday they would no longer release the number of inpatients awaiting test results.
“With improved testing turnaround times, we can have certain test results back the same day; therefore, positive patients will move into the positive counts sooner,” Griffin stated in Tuesday’s daily email brief.
Archbold had 31 positive inpatients at its Thomasville hospital, and the hospital system reported 27 deaths. In addition to Archbold and G.G.H., the system also includes Brooks County Hospital, Mitchell County Hospital, Pelham Parkway Nursing Home, Glenn-Mor Nursing Home, and Mitchell County Convalescent.
Across the state, as of Tuesday at 7 p.m., there were 14,578 positive cases and 524 deaths. That is 5,422 more cases than the same time last week, and 176 more deaths.
One of the hotspots in the state is in nearby Albany and Dougherty County, which continues to report the most deaths of any county in the state at 78 as of Tuesday evening. The county with the second highest number of deaths is Fulton County with 60.