Cobb & Douglas Public Health releases recommendations regarding coronavirus

Sign in front of Cobb & Douglas Public Health on County Services Parkway in article about drive-through testingCobb & Douglas Public Health (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

Cobb & Douglas Public Health released the following statement and recommendations regarding coronavirus, along with a description of CDPH’s plan for addressing the pandemic (correction: In an earlier version the Courier described the spread of coronavirus as an epidemic. The virus, by spreading worldwide, meets the definition of a pandemic):

On March 2, 2020, the first cases of COVID-19 were identified in the state of Georgia. Both of these cases are thought to be travel related and there is still not evidence of community spread. As of today, we do not have an active COVID-19 case in Cobb or Douglas Counties.


Advice to the general public is the same as every cold and flu season:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Note: The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

COVID-19 Testing:

At this time, all testing for coronavirus disease is being handled by the State of Georgia. Call your healthcare professional IF you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, AND have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Symptoms of COVID-19:
COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include:

  • runny nose
  • headache
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • fever
  • a general feeling of being unwell

Preparedness:
Visit www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.org, for preparedness tips for both the workplace and residents of the community. Another good resource is the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html.

Travel:
For travel information, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

What is Cobb & Douglas Public Health Doing to Respond?

  • Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) is preparing internally, as well as with the state and the CDC to slow or prevent community spread. We are working with our partners, including the local governments, healthcare organizations, businesses, first responders, and local school districts to ensure our community is prepared for a potential COVID-19 outbreak.
  • We are reaching out to our county Boards of Health, emergency management agencies, chambers of commerce, and other partners who may need our guidance and are sending them guidance on how to prepare their organizations.
  • CDPH staff receive frequent updates from the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health. These updates include information on the current situation abroad and in the U.S., testing, surveillance, quarantine, and more. This helps shape our local response.
  • CDPH  has a previously-developed pandemic influenza plan that can serve as a template for responding to other outbreaks of severe respiratory disease, like COVID-19. We are reviewing our plan and are also prepared to implement specific COVID-19 guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health and the CDC as the situation evolves.

FAQs:
For Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html.

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