Five COVID-19 cases confirmed in Franklin Co.

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The coronavirus arrived in Franklin County Thursday with one confirmed case. By Wednesday, there were five.

  • Franklin County now has five confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
    Franklin County now has five confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
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FRANKLIN COUNTY – The coronavirus arrived in Franklin County Thursday with one confirmed case.

By Wednesday, there were five.

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported the county’s fifth confirmed case in its noon update Wednesday.

Franklin County’s first case of the virus was reported on Thursday, with a second on Saturday and the third and fourth cases Monday.

There is no information available on the Franklin County residents who have been confirmed to have the virus, including where they live or work.

The Georgia Department of Health is not reporting that information, Dave Palmer, a spokesman for the District 2 Public Health office in Gainesville, said.

Palmer said that when testing confirms that someone has the COVID-19 coronavirus, the patient is contacted and asked about “where they have been and who they have bene around during the time that they could have been contagious.

“The people listed as contacts are notified and given instructions based on the circumstances of their exposure,” Palmer said. “If a contact is experiencing symptoms, they may be tested and told to self-isolate. If exposure is considered high risk, the individual would be asked to self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms.  If they are considered low risk, they would not have to quarantine, but would be asked to call public health if they developed any symptoms. If they became symptomatic, they would be asked to self-quarantine.”

The patient’s employer is also given instructions on how to properly clean and disinfect the workplace, Palmer said.

Instructions provided to employers on proper cleaning techniques is available at  www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/disinfecting-building-facility.html.

The patient and others who are forced to quarantine themselves must stay isolated until People who are required to isolate themselves must remain in insolation until “they have had no fever for at least 72 hours (three full days of no fever without the use of a fever-reducing medicine); their other symptoms, such as cough and shortness of breath, have resolved; and at least 7 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared,” Palmer said.

Palmer did not say whether Franklin County’s cases were related to each other.

“While many cases in the news have had a connection to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, we are beginning to see more cases with unknown exposure,” he said. “This is why it important to remind everyone to continue following the social distancing protocols that the Governor and local officials have outlined.”

Directions to prevent the spread of coronavirus include social distancing, hand washing and staying home.

“Not everyone needs to be tested,” Palmer said. “If a person develops symptoms of fever, cough and a problem breathing, they need to monitor their symptoms and self-quarantine for 14 days. If they develop severe symptoms they need to call their health care provider and seek medical care.”

Franklin County’s five cases matches the number of cases in Stephens County and is one more than the four in Hart County. 

Madison County has had three cases, and one death, while Banks County has also had three.

Elbert County is one of only 19 counties among the state’s 159 without a confirmed case.

As of noon Wednesday, Georgia had 4,638 confirmed cases, with 139 deaths from the virus.

A total of 952 people were hospitalized.

The number of confirmed cases has increased as more tests have been given.

Georgia has tested more than 20,000 people for the virus.

Of those confirmed to have the virus, the greatest number (58 percent) are in the 18-59 age group.

Senior citizens, who along with those with low immune systems are more susceptible to suffer worse symptoms from the virus, account for 35 percent of cases.

Children up to age 17 account for just one percent of confirmed cases, according to state information. 

“COVID-19 testing in Georgia has been increasing as test kits become available,” Palmer said. “This will likely result in more positive cases of COVID-19 in all of our counties. What we don’t know, is how many more positive cases we will see or when the virus will begin to go away.”