COVID-19 count jumps as testing takes off

  • COVID-19

Lumpkin County’s official COVID-19 count saw a sizable jump over the past week as the Georgia Department of Public Health reported a total of 120 cases on Monday.
That’s a significant increase from the 107 cases reported this time last week.
The tally also included two additional deaths, which brings the count of Lumpkin County fatalities to three.
These new cases include a local 79-year-old woman and a 69-year-old woman, both of whom were listed as having underlying conditions at the time of their death, according to health officials.
The amount of patients from Lumpkin requiring hospitalization for coronavirus increased from 24 to 28 throughout the week.
When contacted by The Nugget, Dave Palmer of the Georgia Department of Public Health said increased free testing at the health department, which began once a week on June 10, is contributing to the overall case count increase.
“In those two weeks, we have tested 191 people,” he said. “I would say the majority of those tested were from Lumpkin County. The increased testing would result in more positives.”
Palmer said that the testing program has been popular locally.
“We are also seeing a lot of people wanting to get tested now,” he said.
Palmer added that as sheltering in place ends for many, the jump in cases is to be expected.
“We do expect to see some increase in numbers as businesses open and people begin to go out in public again,” he said. “However, we continue to urge people to social distance, wear face coverings, wash their hands and stay home if they are sick.”
The Lumpkin County Health Department is offering free testing to everyone, with or without symptoms, every Wednesday.
Urgent Care Dahlonega is also evaluating and testing those with or without symptoms during office hours—8 a.m.-8 p.m., without an appointment. Reserve a spot online, and view wait times, at Patients are asked to remain in their vehicles. The individual’s health insurance will be billed. The test itself is provided at no cost for those without insurance, but patients will have to pay for the office visit. Cost depends on the level of evaluation needed.
Check in to during the week for any further coronavirus related updates.