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For the first time since mid-July, the increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Grady County dropped below 50 this week. There were 49 Grady County residents who tested positive between Tuesday, Aug. 18 and Tuesday, Aug. 25, according to information from the Georgia Department of Public Health. During the five weeks prior, the positive number of cases ranged from a low of 52 per week to a high of 78.
Although the number of deaths remains at eight for Grady County, it is a different resident, a 74-year-old African-American male. An 82-year-old white male who died from COVID-19 is no longer attributed to Grady County. Public Health officials are unable to comment on specific cases, but say, in general, changes in the data can happen if it is determined that a person originally thought to be a resident of a specific county is later determined to reside elsewhere. The D.P.H. lists deaths by county of residence.
Grady General Hospital is treating four patients for COVID-19, while Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville has 19 and Mitchell County Hospital has three, according to Ashley Griffin, spokesperson for Archbold Medical Centers, which operates the medical facilities.
Neighboring counties in Georgia are seeing dips and upticks in the number of positive cases while Florida counties to the south of Grady are continuing to experience substantial increases.
In Leon County, Florida, there were 407 new cases of COVID-19 detected and three more deaths while the previous week had 393 new cases and one new death, and in Gadsden County, the increase in cases was 151 in the last week compared to 132 the previous week and one additional death in the last week. They had eight deaths the week before.
In Georgia, Thomas and Decatur counties had 80 and 69 new cases in the last week compared to 126 and 51 the previous week, respectively. Thomas County had three more residents die in the last week compared to one the previous week, and Decatur County had two pass away from the virus in the last seven days compared to four the previous week. Mitchell County, after being an early hotspot, had only 18 new cases in the last week and one additional death. The week before last, Aug. 11-18, Mitchell County had 19 new cases and zero new deaths.
Statewide, there were 258,354 positive total cases Tuesday, up 16,677 in a week, and a total of 5,262 deaths, 468 of those in the last week.
The Department of Public Health has received reports people are using diluted chlorine dioxide to “treat” COVID-19. Chlorine dioxide is a bleach-like cleaning agent and, if ingested, can have severe, adverse health effects, including death.
Chlorine dioxide products have not been shown to be safe and effective for any use, including treatment of COVID-19. Products are being marketed under various names: MSS, Miracle Mineral Solution, Master Mineral Solution, Water Purification Solution, CDS, Aqueous Chlorine Dioxide and others.
Ingesting chlorine dioxide products can lead to: respiratory failure; potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythms; life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration; acute liver failure; low blood cell counts; severe vomiting; and severe diarrhea.
Chlorine dioxide are the active ingredients in disinfectants and have additional industrial uses. They are not meant to be swallowed by people.
For more information or if you or someone you know has ingested chlorine dioxide, call the Georgia Poison Center Hotline: 1-800-222-1222