There have been 91 total confirmed COVID-19 cases in White County since the start of the pandemic, according to the 1 p.m. update on Wednesday, May 20, on the Georgia Department of Public Health's website. In White County there have been 19 hospitalizations and three deaths attributed to COVID-19.
The deaths include a 65-year-old male with “chronic conditions,” a woman over 90 with "chronic conditions," and a 26-year-old male, and it is unknown if he had chronic conditions, according to the DPH 1 p.m. update on Wednesday, May 20. No other information was provided. Federal medical privacy laws prohibit release of information to media identifying those who have been diagnosed.
On Monday, May 4, White County emergency management office released a new statistic that they are tracking – recoveries. There have been 72 cases of recovery from COVID-19 as of Monday, May 18, according to the new county report. A patient is considered to have recovered 21 days after a confirmed case report is provided to the county. This information will be issued twice a week.
"We now have the capability to track these internal patients, and we know when the 21-day is initiated as recovered," said White County Emergency Management & Public Safety Director David Murphy on Monday, adding that it was a local decision to calculate recoveries from the Georgia DPH case report.
Murphy also noted on Monday that this past weekend was the first since tracking began that White County had "zero" new cases.
Total confirmed cases listed in the daily Georgia DPH reports do not differentiate between how many are active infections and those who have recovered. A spokesman with the state public health's district office previously said recovery cases were not tracked by the department because many people infected with COVID-19 do not seek medical care and, therefore, any number they would have would not be accurate. Federal medical privacy laws prohibit release of information to media identifying those who have been diagnosed. Health officials have also said that some with the coronavirus might not show symptoms of COVID-19.
With the 1 p.m. update on May 20, there were 39,647 confirmed cases in Georgia, 7,107 people hospitalized, 1,617 ICU admissions and 1,687 deaths.
The Georgia Department of Public Health is now providing updates at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on their website. Confirmed patients are listed based on their residence. The website does not add new cases in real time, and there can be a lag in when a positive test is determined by a local healthcare provider and the state's reporting of a confirmed case in the online update.
Health officials are urging the public to help stop further spread of the coronavirus:
• Stay home – the Governor has issued a shelter-in-place Executive Order that should be observed by all residents and visitors.
• Practice social distancing – keep at least 6 feet between yourself and other people.
• Wash your hands – use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% alcohol) if soap and water aren’t readily available.
• Wear a mask – The CDC now recommends the use of face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19, especially where socials distancing is difficult to maintain (grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.), and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. The CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
Continuing coverage of the COVID-19 can be found on whitecountnews.net and in the latest edition of the White County News.