Welp… there goes the neighborhood!!! Atlanta officials have confirmed that that there are at least two confirmed cases of COVID-19, the coronavirus in Fulton County.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp confirmed the news during a late-night news conference Monday evening (March 2, 2020) and shared additional information about the cases, which involved family members who had just returned from a trip to Italy.
According to WSB-TV, he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the cases to state health officials earlier yesterday evening and Governor Kemp shared the news with the public, stating:
These cases involve two individuals who reside in the same household. One who recently returned from Italy.
They are currently being kept inside their home with family to help isolate the virus.
The governor urged residents that there is no reason to panic about tonight’s announcement.
“Georgians should remain calm. We were ready for today. We have been preparing for weeks now and so far, every development has come forward just as we expected it would,” Kemp said.
Kemp said the newly formed state coronavirus task force played a big role in being proactive in this case.
Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey also spoke about the importance of keeping the public informed, stating:
We thought it was important that we come today and tell you about this even as our epidemiologists are still investigating and find any potential contacts in the community.
Toomey praised the patients and physicians in how they handled the cases, stating that the man who had returned from Italy, called his doctor complaining of symptoms.
She said the doctor had the two patients enter through separate entrances to the doctor’s office and kept them from as much exposure as possible to other people.
“We will continue to search for any contacts to ensure that we stop any further spread in the community,” Toomey said. “We don’t want that to go any further.”
“The message to the public is still low risk. No local transmission going on and wash your hands and get a flu shot,” Toomey said.
Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler also issued a joint statement Monday night about the situation, stating:
We’re closely monitoring the cases of coronavirus in Georgia and urge everyone to take extra precautions. Governor Kemp and the Trump Administration are working with us to ensure we keep Georgians healthy and safe. It is of utmost importance that Georgia has the resources necessary to respond accordingly.
Fortunately, we have the best and brightest working at the CDC here in Atlanta to continue to help prepare the country.