Deaths and number of positive cases continue to rise

The number of Grady countians testing positive for COVID-19 continued to rise in the last week, and two more local citizens died from the disease, which is caused by the novel coronavirus. The county jumped from 43 positive cases last week to 61 as of Tuesday.
Neighboring Georgia counties, with the exception of Decatur, continue to experience much higher numbers, especially Mitchell County, with 29 deaths and 293 positive cases. Thomas County has had 17 deaths from COVID-19 and 173 positive cases.
Meanwhile, Decatur County has only five more positive cases than Grady, but only one death compared to four here, according to the state Department of Public Health.
The shelter-in-place order is due to expire this Thursday, unless Gov. Brian Kemp extends it, except for the elderly and medically fragile, who must remain at home at least through May 13.
Grady General Hospital is treating three positive inpatients as of Tuesday, according to information from Archbold Medical Centers, which operates the local hospital. That is the same number of positive patients here as last week, but Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville has 10 fewer positive inpatients this week, at 29.
Dougherty County continues to record the highest number of deaths from COVID-19 of any county in the state. They have had 118 citizens die, compared to 108 in Fulton, 81 in Cobb, and 54 in Gwinnett counties where the population is more than eight times greater than Dougherty County’s population of 89,905.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added six new symptoms to its list of symptoms for COVID-19.
The new symptoms are chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste and/or smell. These symptoms join the original symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath/difficulty breathing. Symptoms of COVID-19 typically appear 2-14 days after exposure and range from mild to severe.
The Georgia Department of Public Health is expanding testing throughout the state, so it is important for people to recognize these symptoms and seek testing if they are ill.
All symptomatic individuals are eligible for COVID-19 testing.
People should not arrive unannounced or without a scheduled appointment at a specimen collection site. There are two ways to be referred for COVID-19 testing: either by the local health department or a physician.
Individuals who meet COVID-19 testing criteria may now contacting their local health department for a referral. They will be screened by appropriate health department staff and referred to the closest, most convenient specimen collection site. To contact the Grady County Health Department, call (229) 377-2992.
Health care providers and/or physicians can still refer patients for COVID-19 testing.
Social distancing, hand washing for 20 second, and wearing a mask in stores and businesses is still encouraged.

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