[VIDEO] Public health officials update the community on coronavirus

March 6, 2020–1:56 p.m.


Public health officials briefed city and county leaders, school system officials, law enforcement and the media Friday morning regarding the preliminary positive coronavirus COVID-19 case in Floyd County.

A 46-year old woman tested positive on Tuesday.

Additional confirmatory testing is being performed and results from CDC are anticipated, possibly as soon as later today.

Dr. Gary Voccio, health director for the ten-county Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District, said there have been no other cases in our area and no other tests have had to be administered.

Dr. Voccio added the patient, to his knowledge, did not travel outside the country.  However, she had recently returned from a trip to Washington D.C.

He added this could still be a “false positive.”

The patient was first seen in the Floyd Emergency Room on February 29 due to flu-like symptoms but did not meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testing criteria for COVID-19 or warrant hospitalization.

She returned on Tuesday with worsening symptoms and was put into isolation.

At the adamant urging of the attending physician and District Health Director Dr. Gary Voccio, CDC and GDPH authorized COVID-19 testing.

We asked Ben Rigas, Environmental Safety Officer/Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at Floyd Medical Center if the patient had any contacts in the community between the time she was first treated and when she returned three days later.

He said it is believed the patient self-quarantined herself and it is not believed she went out in public.

Floyd has notified caregivers who treated this patient prior to isolation on Tuesday.

In addition, although the risk of exposure is low, Floyd is proactively notifying all patients who may have had contact with any of these caregivers or who may have been in the ER on February 29 and March 3.

In the meantime, you can stop the spread of germs by avoiding contact with people who are sick; staying home when you are sick; covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; and washing your hands frequently.

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