ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The City of Albany, Dougherty County, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital officials and the Department of Public Health discussed the local impact of the Coronavirus at a Wednesday press conference.
Officials say two patients at Phoebe tested positive for the Coronavirus within the last 19 hours.
Dr. Charles Ruiz, Department of Public Health Southwest District director, said there are seven positive cases and 15 presumptive cases in Georgia.
“The medical community has prepared for an event like the Coronavirus for years," Ruiz said. "We are accustomed to working as partners for the benefit of the community.”
Officials said patients are being isolated, with supportive care, and they are investigating all contacts with others to make sure the community is protected.
Phoebe visitation is being limited to one person per patient.
Phoebe officials are also testing staff members who had contact with infected patients.
Late Tuesday night, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital was notified that a patient who was treated in its main hospital before being transferred to a metro Atlanta hospital tested presumptively positive for COVID-19.
The patient was visiting southwest Georgia, and there is no indication the virus was contracted in this part of the state.
Albany and Dougherty County officials addressed the coronavirus cases in Dougherty County.
Watch the press conference below.
“It is unlikely people who are not exhibiting symptoms will transmit the virus to others," said Dr. Steve Kitchen, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital chief medical officer. “The risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low for the general public, and most people who do contract the virus experience relatively mild symptoms that do not require hospitalization.”
"Our Coronavirus Task Force has been meeting daily and preparing for this eventuality,” Scott Steiner, Phoebe CEO, said.
All hospitals in Georgia are working in conjunction with the Governor’s task force and Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) to ensure best practices are consistently followed when treating COVID-19 patients and in monitoring and caring for employees at risk of contracting the illness.
Dougherty County Schools released a statement about the Coronavirus.
The school district said they have been working with state and local authorities since the Coronavirus was first made known in the United States.
The school system also releases plan if there is a confirmed Coronavirus case that affects the school system.
Meanwhile, Archbold Hospital in Thomasville issued a statement regarding its Emergency Department entrance:
As an additional precaution to keep patients and employees protected in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Archbold is asking for all employees and visitors to avoid using the Emergency Department entrances at Archbold Memorial Hospital until further notice. Employees should enter and exit through alternative entrances, and visitors should use the main entrance. Patients seeking care at the Emergency Department may still use the Emergency Department entrance.
The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are
- Wash your hands often.
- Avoid close contact with others.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
- Wear a facemask if you’re sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
You can get updated information at cdc.gov.