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DeKalb County sounds alarm about rising COVID-19 infections

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DeKalb County sounds alarm about rising COVID-19 infections

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Stephanie Dibenedetto, R.N., from the DeKalb County Board of Health administers a COVID-19 test at a free testing site at Rehoboth Baptist Church in Tucker, Friday, May 22. Photo by Dean Hesse.


Decatur, GA— DeKalb County will activate the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) warning system to alert residents and visitors to the “imminent threat” posed by the increasing number of COVID-19 infections in the county and state, a press release says.

“We are tracking an alarming increase in the number of COVID-19 infections in DeKalb and across the state of Georgia,” DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond said. “Extraordinary measures must be taken to ensure that our residents and visitors are aware of the imminent threat and, more importantly, how to mitigate the spread of this deadly virus.”

According to the state Department of Public Health, as of July 1, there have been 5,959 confirmed COVID-19 cases in DeKalb County and 173 related deaths. Yesterday there were 5,841 cases and 173 related deaths.

Officials are particularly concerned by the prospect that tens of thousands of people will be gathering throughout the county for Fourth of July celebrations, the press release says. Large crowds are expected at Stone Mountain State Park, Georgia’s most popular tourist destination.

The county will send out email and voice messages to the county’s 566,000 CodeRED emergency notification system subscribers. The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) will also transmit a geocoded text message to all residents, visitors and commuters in county’s boundary at the time of the alert, the press release says.

By utilizing IPAWS geocoding technology, visitors in the vicinity of Stone Mountain Park will receive targeted COVID-19 alerts and messages throughout the holiday weekend, according to the press release. According to Georgia Department of Public Health DeKalb statistics, DeKalb has recorded the state’s third highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases (5,841) and 173 deaths.

DeKalb County will urge residents and visitors to protect themselves and others by:

– Wearing a mask when going out in public;

– Practicing social distancing;

– Staying home when possible; and

– Washing or sanitizing their hands often.

Residents are urged to get tested if they are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, or believe they may have come in contact with someone infected with COVID-19. For testing locations and other COVID-19-related information, go to  www.dekalbcountyga.gov/coronavirus . To sign up for CodeRED, visit www.dekalbcountyga.gov/dema/codered

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