The Newnan Times-Herald

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UPDATE: District 4 Health corrects case count


  • By Clay Neely
  • |
  • Mar. 26, 2020 - 7:04 PM

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UPDATE: District 4 Health corrects case count

The Newnan Times-Herald

UPDATED: Wed. Mar. 25, 11:03 a.m.

Numbers pulled for positive COVID-19 case counts on Tuesday were incorrect, according to a Wednesday morning press release from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Today, the District 4 Public Health confirmed 76 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in District 4, including 10 in Coweta.

Tuesday’s evening’s press release from the District 4 Public Health incorrectly stated there were 184 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in District 4, which included 31 confirmed cases in Coweta.

There will continue to be more positive cases with additional testing taking place, and confirmation of cases in Coweta County does not change public health recommendations for all residents, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Health officials are taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the general public by identifying and notifying the individuals who may have had contact with the Coweta County residents who tested positive.

The household members of the positive cases are self-quarantined and remain in contact with health officials for further instructions.

Local leaders respond to COVID-19 crisis

On Monday, the Grantville City Council voted to ask its residents to voluntarily shelter in place.

The Newnan City Council will meet Wednesday at 3 p.m. to consider an ordinance requiring the closure of many non-essential businesses and limiting all restaurants to takeout only.

“I think it is imperative that we pass some social distancing requirements and stay-at-home, shelter-in-place measures,” said Newnan City Councilwoman Cynthia Jenkins.

Jenkins said Mayor Keith Brady and City Manager Cleatus Phillips have crafted the proposed city ordinance. The Georgia Municipal Association has also issued a model ordinance for cities to consider. The GMA ordinance includes curfews, she said.

“I was disappointed that Gov. Kemp did not issue a state directive on closures, even if that order was a regional one instead of statewide,” Jenkins said. “It would have been much more efficient."

Jenkins said she has talked with council members in other counties about coordinated efforts.

“My hope is that the counties and cities in our region will enact something to slow the spread while keeping essential functions going,” she said. “I would prefer a mandatory stay-at-home measure, and that social distancing practices are instituted in grocery stores and other essential businesses."

Coweta County Commission Chairman Paul Poole, and commissioners Bob Blackburn and Al Smith were contacted by NTH Tuesday, and all three said they don’t support government measures to require people to stay at home or close businesses at this time.

“As of right now we are not doing anything but that could change. This is so fluid,” Poole said.

He said he thinks any major directive should come from the governor.

“He’s got a lot more people assisting him and guiding him on what needs to be done than we do,” Poole said.

Poole added that people should keep their space from each other – the recommended 6 feet – and stay at home.

“I think everybody’s got to use some common sense here,” Poole said.

Blackburn said he thinks people “have enough smarts as to whether they need to be out or not."

A total lockdown is an attack on personal liberties, he said.

“I don’t think we’re at a point where the situation mandates such a radical response,” Blackburn said.

He said it’s disturbing that some states have decided to criminalize people being outside.

However, if there were orders from the president “I would most certainly comply,” Blackburn said.

“If Kemp came on and said we’re at a situation where we need this to happen, I would strongly consider it. I just don’t think we’re there,” he said.

Piedmont calls first Coweta death cause ‘inconclusive’

On Thursday, a Newnan woman became Coweta County’s first COVID-19-related death.

Diedre Wilkes, 42, did not have any underlying health issues and reportedly worked as a local health care worker, according to Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk.

Wilkes, a mammogram technician at Piedmont Newnan Hospital, passed away Thursday night at her residence at the Promenade at Newnan Crossing.

She had been dead 12 to 16 hours and was found when police came to perform a welfare check, Hawk said.

Hawk said it’s unclear if her infection was linked to domestic travel or the result of community transmission, but he confirmed she tested positive for COVID-19.

John Manasso, a spokesman for Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta, said Tuesday the hospital considersWilkes’ cause of death “inconclusive.”

“Because we were told that an initial COVID-19 test performed after her death was positive, and because we know people can expose others before they show evidence of the disease, as a cautionary measure, we have contacted the employees and patients who may have had contact with this employee in the days leading up to the colleague’s last day at work,” Manasso said.

“Piedmont is providing these individuals with detailed information for self-monitoring and will offer COVID-19 testing to those who request it,” he continued. “This employee did not work in an area treating known or suspected COVID-19 patients. Our thoughts and prayers are with the employee’s family during this difficult time.”

A letter sent out to residents of the Promenade on Friday stated management had contacted public health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. regarding a death in the complex.,

The CDC did not recommend any additional steps, according to the letter.

“As indicated in our prior communications, given the current global health situation, we previously implemented measures to close the community common areas, amenities and management office and to enhance our cleaning protocols,” the letter stated. “The enhanced cleaning protocols, which also occurred today, include daily wipe downs of the mail center, mail and package center.”

“We are committed to the well-being, health and safety of everyone associated with our property and will continue to update everyone as information becomes available.” the letter stated.

Hawk stressed the ongoing need for residents to isolate, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and keep a 6-foot minimum distance from others.

All Georgians play a critical role in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the following guidance:

  • Practice social distancing by putting at least 6 feet between yourself and other people.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

According to federal and state health officials, people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 do not need to be tested.

Additionally, most people who are mildly or moderately ill with “cold-like” symptoms do not need to be tested.

The majority of people with COVID-19 can safely recover at home with self-isolation and symptomatic treatment, health officials say. Diagnosis through laboratory testing does not change the care that they would receive.

Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 and should always consult their healthcare provider if they are sick.