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Public health officials will conduct testing for COVID-19 at Washington Middle School Thursday morning, and the community is encouraged to take advantage of the free service. The number of positive cases here has risen in the last week by 10 up to 104 people who have tested positive since the pandemic was pronounced in March, according to Michelle Thornton, R.N./B.S.N., director of the Grady County Health Department. Five local citizens have died from COVID-19 in the last few months, and that number remained unchanged in the last week.
The testing at W.M.S., 1277 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in Cairo, is scheduled to take place, 8 a.m. until noon, Thursday.
Testing will return to the Grady County Health Department, 1030 Fourth St., S.E., Cairo, on Sunday, 9 a.m. until noon.
Although appointments are not required, they may still be made by calling (229) 352-6567, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Thornton reports that 24 people took part in Tuesday’s tests at the health department, and 47 did on Saturday.
The virus can spread from a person before they have symptoms, and public health officials say to take action to slow its spread by wearing a cloth face covering in public spaces, keeping at least 6 feet of physical distance, and frequently washing hands for at least 20 seconds.
A cloth face covering can be made from items around the home, such as a scarf or cloth napkin. Make sure the covering reaches above the nose and below the chin. And, if sick, stay home.
Georgia, overall, saw more than 5,000 cases reported this week, from 38,855 last week to 43,983 this week. There were 220 more deaths in the state in the last week, bringing the total to die from COVID-19 to 1,895 Georgians as of Tuesday.
The number of cases in neighboring communities has also gone up in the last week. Thomas County saw an uptick of 34 cases to 323 total cases now, and 31 deaths, up one from last week.
Mitchell County saw an increase of only five cases in the last week, bringing their total to 399, while their death rate remained steady for another week at 32 deaths.
In Decatur County, the number of cases increased by 25 to 156 positives, while their number of deaths remained at four.
The state’s first hot spot, Dougherty County, had an increase of 106 cases in the last week and three more deaths, bringing their numbers to 1,774 cases and 142 deaths.
To our south, Leon and Gadsden counties in Florida both saw increases in cases, but no more deaths in the last week. Leon County reports 349 cases, up 66 in the week, and six total deaths, while Gadsden County’s cases increased by 24 up to 262 positives and remained steady at only one total death.
Meanwhile Georgia Public Health officials report that one staff member of Pinewood Nursing Center in Whigham has tested positive for COVID-19, but no residents are positive as of Tuesday.