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Emory Healthcare admits its first coronavirus patient

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Emory Healthcare admits its first coronavirus patient

Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV. The spherical viral particles, colorized blue, contain cross-sections through the viral genome, seen as black dots. Photo by CDC/ Hannah A Bullock; Azaibi Tamin, obtained via the Centers for Disease Control.
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This story has been updated. 

DeKalb County, GA – Emory Healthcare announced on March 10 that it has admitted its first coronavirus patient.

“Emory Healthcare has admitted our first patient who has tested positive for COVID-19,” Emory Healthcare announced. “We are committed to maintaining patient privacy in accordance with federal regulations. The coronavirus situation remains fluid and we are prepared to see more admissions and ambulatory visits moving forward.”

Patients with a presumptive positive test may or may not remain in the hospital, depending on their condition.

“In some instances, patients may be sent home for home quarantine in coordination with Georgia Department of Public Health to await a confirmation from the CDC,” The announcement from Emory Healthcare says. “If a test result is confirmed and the patient requires hospital care, Emory Healthcare is fully prepared and equipped to treat the patient. We are following all established screening protocols and have implemented infection control best practices throughout the health system.”

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In other coronavirus news:

– Dr. Nancy Messonnier — a Decatur resident who is the CDC’s Director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases — told reporters that people over 60 should prepare to stay in their homes for an extended period, CNBC reported.

According to CNBC, “The CDC is recommending people with underlying conditions or who are over 60 to stock up on medications, household items and groceries to stay at home ‘for a period of time’. .. The U.S. government recommended travelers with underlying health conditions avoid taking any cruises anywhere in the world.”

“We also recommend people at higher risk avoid non-essential travel, such as long plane trips,” Messonnier said, according to CNBC. For the full story, click here.

– Gov. Brian Kemp has confirmed that Hard Labor Creek State Park in Morgan County has received its first coronavirus patient. The state chose this location for coronavirus patients because of its isolation from the general public and its ability to house emergency mobile units.

“The Governor’s Office is able to confirm this evening that the first patient, an individual from Cherokee County who has tested positive for the virus, has now been isolated on the state park grounds in one of the mobile units,” Kemp’s Office said. “The individual was not able to isolate at their primary residence and was not in critical condition requiring any hospital admittance. State public health officials determined that a specific part of Hard Labor Creek State Park would be best suited for isolation as the individual is treated by medical professionals.”

– The Governor’s Office also confirmed five new presumed cases in Georgia, bringing the state total six confirmed cases and 11 presumptive cases. Two of those presumptive cases are in DeKalb County.

“The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is awaiting confirmatory testing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on five additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Georgia,” the Governor’s Office reported. “The additional cases are in Charlton County, Fulton County, and three in Cobb County. All but one individual (Fulton) are hospitalized. One of the Cobb presumptive positives has a travel history outside of the country. The sources of the other infections are unknown.”

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases (Total: 6)

Fulton County: 3
Floyd County: 1
Polk County: 1
Cobb County: 1

Presumptive Positive COVID-19 Cases (Total: 16)

Fulton County: 3
Cobb County: 6
Fayette County: 1
DeKalb County: 2
Gwinnett County: 2
Cherokee County: 1
Charlton County: 1

Source: The Office of Governor Brian Kemp.

– Fulton County Schools will close tomorrow, March 11, in response to an employee testing positive for coronavirus. It is the second day of closures for the school district. DeKalb County Schools, Atlanta Public Schools and City Schools of Decatur have no reported cases among students or staff and remain open for now.

Here’s the full announcement from Fulton County Schools:

FCS remains focused on the safety of our schools and community. We are working continuously with our partners, local municipalities and health departments to provide you with updates and additional information.All Fulton County schools will be closed on Wednesday, March 11, including all scheduled activities. Students and teachers will not report tomorrow. However, all central office employees and school-based employees, with the exception of Bear Creek Middle and Woodland Middle Schools, who work 210 through 235 days will report to their locations as usual on Wednesday, March 11.

All Fulton County schools, with the exception of Bear Creek Middle and Woodland Middle Schools, will reopen to all students and staff on Thursday, March 12.

While the school system is closed during this period, crews are cleaning and disinfecting every school and administrative building in Fulton County Schools.  All frequently-touched hard surfaces are being wiped down with a hospital-grade disinfectant that is proven to kill bacteria and viruses.  School buses are also being cleaned and disinfected and going forward drivers will use specialized wipes to disinfect seats after completing each morning and afternoon run.

Lastly, FCS has determined that Bear Creek Middle School will be closed to students and staff until Friday, March 20, with the school reopening on Monday, March 23.  Woodland Middle School will reopen on Tuesday, March 17.  We will share the specific details with Bear Creek and Woodland middle school families.

Based upon all of this information, FCS has also decided to cancel all international travel.

We ask that our staff and families continue to follow the COVID-19 guidelines as shared by GDPH and the CDC including monitoring you and your child’s health for fever and symptoms of respiratory illness including a runny nose, cough and/or shortness of breath.  Please call your local health provider for assistance if these symptoms occur.

Updates are also provided on our District website at: https://www.fultonschools.org/coronavirus.

Here are the recommendations on coronavirus prevention from the DeKalb County Board of Health:

– Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

– Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

– Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

– Stay home when you are sick.

– Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash.

– Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The DeKalb County Board of Health is encouraging people not to buy facemasks.

“Surgical masks should be reserved for people who exhibit symptoms (to prevent them from spreading the virus through respiratory secretions such as saliva or mucus) and healthcare professionals who are taking care of sick people,” the DeKalb County Board of Health says. “Regular surgical face masks are not effective in protecting against the coronavirus, according to the CDC. A more specialized face mask known as N95 respirators are thicker than surgical masks and are fitted to a person’s face to keep out any viral particles.”

For more information from the Centers for Disease Control, click here.

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