The first confirmed case of the coronavirus for a Lumpkin County resident was reported by the Georgia Department of Public Health Saturday evening. And a couple days later two more cases followed. The health department has been posting a COVID-19-related report twice daily as the virus has continued to spread throughout the state of Georgia and the nation. As of press-time the total number of confirmed cases in Georgia stands at 1,026 with 32 deaths. Page 3A
With three local cases confirmed on Tuesday, Lumpkin had joined the unenviable list which includes surrounding counties such as Dawson County, which also had one confirmed case, and Hall County, which had 14 confirmed cases.
The Georgia Department of Public Health lists confirmed cases based on a patient’s current county of residence.
Meanwhile, some signs of pandemic preparation have became apparent in Lumpkin.
Most notably through a clear plastic medical tent that popped up in front of the Urgent Care Dahlonega near Home Depot
It was a sight that frightened some local Facebook users, who swore off the nearby home good store.
Northeast Georgia Health System rep Kim Frisbie said it’s nothing to be scared about.
“We are thankful for that tent,” she said. “As we developed workspace out front to screen arriving patients, it really helps to protect our staff, computers and supplies from the elements.”
She emphasized that it helps to keep potential coronavirus patients from mixing with those who are at urgent care for other health needs.
“First and foremost, we’re asking everyone to call before they come to Urgent Care,” she said. “Our staff can help screen people over the phone and give better direction about where to go for care. Urgent Care Dahlonega staff are being very proactive; going to vehicles as they pull into the parking lot to screen people. They will either be cleared to enter the building or potentially redirected for further evaluation or testing.”
In order to prevent the continued spread of the virus, health officials are recommending that residents stay in their homes and avoid unnecessary outings. The following guidelines have been released by officials at Northeast Georgia Health System.
1) Stay home –Only leave for trips that are absolutely necessary, like getting groceries or medications.
2) Monitor your symptoms at home – paying close attention to symptoms like fever, persistent cough, difficulty breathing and bluish lips or face.
3) Call before you come – if you feel you need to leave home for care, call your doctor’s office first to discuss your symptoms and get direction about where to go. If you don’t have a doctor, call an urgent care clinic. If it’s an emergency, always call 9-1-1.
4) Rely on healthcare providers to determine if you need to be tested – caregivers will evaluate your symptoms and will coordinate testing if needed.
For continuing local updates on the coronavirus pandemic check back in with www.thedahloneganugget.com.