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Emory Healthcare has 7 coronavirus patients; YMCA closing; Decatur holding quorum-only meeting

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Emory Healthcare has 7 coronavirus patients; YMCA closing; Decatur holding quorum-only meeting

This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name. Public domain image obtained via https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/novel-coronavirus-sarscov2-images
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Decatur, GA – The coronavirus news continued its rapid-fire pace on Sunday evening, March 15.

Here’s what’s happening:

– Emory Healthcare sent a message to employees saying Emory has seven “positive in-house admissions” of COVID-19 patients and 126 “persons under investigation.” The message did not say which Emory hospitals were taking care of these patients.

If all 126 “persons under investigation” are confirmed as positive cases, it would more than double Georgia’s reported COVID-19 cases. Right now, there are 99 confirmed cases in Georgia, but the number is likely far higher due to limited testing.

When asked for comment, Emory Healthcare provided the following statement:

Emory Healthcare admitted our first patient who has tested positive for COVID-19. 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. For patients who test presumptive positive, depending on their condition, they may or may not remain in the hospital.  In some instances, patients may be sent home for home quarantine in coordination with Ga Department of Public Health to await a confirmation from the CDC. 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.

Emory Healthcare is working closely with state and local public health agencies in following potential COVID-19 cases. Emory Healthcare has unique expertise with infectious disease care and research and we are actively monitoring the coronavirus situation. We are following all protocols and safety measures to ensure patients, their families and our health care community remain safe and we will continue to keep the public educated and informed.

– The Decatur YMCA is closing until further notice due to a possible COVID-19 case associated with that branch. 

“The YMCA of Metro Atlanta has been actively monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and its impact within the communities we serve,” the message from the YMCA says. “We have been informed of a possible case of Coronavirus/COVID-19 at our branch, however it has not been confirmed by testing at this time. Out of an abundance of caution, the branch is being closed for a deep sanitization. We will keep you informed over the coming days.”

– The Decatur City Commission will have a quorum-only meeting on March 16, meaning only three members will attend. 

“Recognizing the need to govern the City while also following the guidance from public health officials for responsible social distancing, at their Monday, March 16 meeting, the Decatur City Commissioners will limit their participation to a quorum of three City Commission members, encourage community members to watch the meeting live online and submit any questions and comments to be considered at the meeting to the City Manager in advance of the meeting,” the announcement from the city says.

Mayor Patti Garrett said, “We are taking the guidance for social distancing seriously and encourage all residents to do the same in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

“For future City Commission meetings, the City plans to have technology in place to allow community members to participate remotely during the meetings,” the announcement from the city says. “The Mayor has been working closely with state officials, the Georgia Municipal Association, DeKalb County, the DeKalb County Health Department, and the Mayors in the DeKalb Municipal Association to ensure a coordinated community effort to the COVID-19 outbreak. Mayor Garrett will provide more detail about the City’s coordinated response during Monday’s City Commission meeting.”

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