Message from Dr. Olugbenga Obasanjo, MD, PhD, MPH, MBA

There is absolutely no need for testing for contacts of known positives. If you have come into contact with a confirmed positive case, you need to self-quarantine for 14 days.

If, within those 14 days, you become symptomatic, you will need to remain isolated for 7 days from when the symptoms start OR 3 days after symptoms stop, whichever is longer.

If you do not develop symptoms you will be cleared after 14 days. Obviously, if your symptoms become severe, you may need to be hospitalized. Those severe symptoms include:

Please call ahead to the ER, DO NOT come through the emergency room, this puts others in the community at risk.

Keep in mind, our emergency rooms are going to be overwhelmed with seriously ill patients. Do not add to the load by coming to the hospital with symptoms that can be mitigated at home.

Serving Butts, Carroll, Coweta, Fayette, Heard, Henry, Lamar, Meriwether, Pike, Spalding, Troup, and Upson Counties

Dr. Olugbenga Obasanjo, MD, PhD, MPH, MBA

District 4 Public Health

Clinic appointment: 1-800-847-4262
WIC appointment: 1-706-298-6080

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Georgia’s statewide shelter-in-place order

Georgia’s statewide shelter-in-place order to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus was signed by Governor Kemp April 2, 2020. You can read the full order here.

The order takes effect at 6 p.m. Friday, April 3 and continues through April 13. A handout has been prepared to help you understand what will be allowed to continue during the shelter-in-place period.

COVID-19 Screening Tool

For those of you who may be experiencing symptoms that may be related to COVID-19 you can download the free app from Apple’s App Store apple.com/ios/app-store/ or access the tool online at www.apple.com/covid19. This app will give you an idea of what you should do next, based on your symptoms and circumstances. Everyone has a role to play as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19.

**PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING MILD, OR COLD-LIKE SYMPTOMS, THERE IS NO NEED FOR YOU TO CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT BEING TESTED. TESTING IS BEING PRIORITIZED FOR OUR MOST VULNERABLE POPULATIONS AND THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR CARE AND SAFETY. **

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Reporting a place of business

For people trying to report their place of business as violating the Governor’s Executive Order. Please use the link below and include the following information your report:
Business Name
Address
County
Telephone Number
Specific details for the complaint

https://gov.georgia.gov/contact-us/constituent-services

Here you will find Governor Kemp’s executive orders.

 

Contact COVID-19 hotline

Contact COVID-19 hotline
The State of Georgia has a new COVID-19 hotline. If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic, or your local federally qualified healthcare center. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.

Hotline: (844) 442-2681

COVID-19 Testing

ADVISORY: There are limited facilities with COVID-19 testing capabilities currently. Testing is only available at this time for those that have signs and symptoms of a respiratory illness and have been evaluated by a qualified physician or healthcare provider and are recommended for testing. You should contact your healthcare provider BEFORE going for testing.

DPH Awaits CDC Confirmation of Positive COVID-19 Test

DPH Awaits CDC Confirmation of Positive COVID-19 Test

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is awaiting confirmatory testing on a positive test for COVID-19 in a Georgia patient in Floyd County. The initial testing was completed by the Georgia Public Health Laboratory on March 5.

Per testing protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the test results were sent to the CDC for confirmation. Testing at most state laboratories, including Georgia, is just underway; and due to previous flaws in the test components sent to state laboratories, the CDC requires all presumptive positives for COVID-19 be sent to them for verification at this time. We expect to have results from the CDC in the coming days.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not confirmed initial test results for this patient. The Georgia Department of Public Health has requested expedited processing for an official determination,” said Governor Kemp. “To prevent the spread of incomplete or inaccurate information, we encourage Georgians to rely on guidance from the CDC, the DPH, and my office. We will continue to provide regular updates to keep the public informed and ensure the health and safety of families across our state.”

DPH is working to identify any contacts who may have been exposed while the individuals were infectious. People who are identified as having been exposed will be contacted directly by a DPH epidemiologist and monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

The risk of COVID-19 to the general public remains low at this time. All Georgians should follow basic prevention measures for any respiratory illness, including:

Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
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.

If you have recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 and develop fever with cough and shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, stay home and call your health care provider or local health department right away. Be sure to call before going to a doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

For accurate and reliable information about COVID-19 log on to: dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html. Find answers to frequently asked questions at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.

DPH Preparations for Potential Spread of COVID-19

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is working closely with the CDC, and state partners to prepare for a potential outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S., including Georgia. The goal is to quickly identify cases of COVID-19 and take the appropriate public health action to reduce its spread and protect the general public. It is important to note that at this time, the overall risk of COVID-19 to the general public remains low.

“We urge Georgians to prepare for hurricanes or flooding or take measures to prevent flu, so preparing for an outbreak of COVID-19 is no different,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., DPH commissioner. “DPH is working to make sure our health systems, first responders and county health departments have the resources they need to respond to a COVID-19 outbreak.”

DPH already has a detailed pandemic flu plan that was developed in partnership with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the Georgia Department of Education and other state agencies, and will be adapted for a COVID-19 outbreak in the state. DPH has responded to other serious disease outbreaks, including Ebola and Zika virus and each instance has provided new insight and guidance and highlighted the need to be as prepared as we can be.

DPH Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) is providing CDC information and guidance about COVID-19 to all health care and hospital facilities throughout Georgia, and holding weekly calls with the entire public health and hospital/health care community to update information and answer questions.

DPH epidemiologists are on-call 24/7 to help health care providers evaluate individuals presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 to ensure that possible cases are managed safely, support laboratory testing and implement recommendations from the CDC. In the event of COVID-19 in Georgia, epidemiologists would also be monitoring outbreaks and recommending control strategies, including guidance regarding testing and isolation.

Should it become necessary, DPH may recommend appropriate community mitigation measures for affected communities, such as temporary closure of child care facilities and schools/colleges and universities, school and workplace social distancing measures, and postponement or cancellation of mass gatherings. Additionally, businesses should consider ways to implement strategies to reduce the impact of a potential COVID-19 outbreak on their workforce, including teleworking and cross-training employees on essential job functions.

The same measures that are urged to prevent the spread of any respiratory virus are increasingly important for all Georgians:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The best prevention against the flu is vaccination. Flu is still widespread and active in Georgia – it’s not too late to get a flu shot.

Passenger screening at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport is ongoing. This is to identify people coming from China who may have been exposed to and are at risk of developing COVID-19, and to provide appropriate assessment and monitoring to protect the general public.

COVID-19 is rapidly evolving and guidance is subject to change. The preparations currently underway in Georgia are based on the best scientific information we have from the CDC. DPH will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation, and work with state partners and health care communities to incorporate the most up to date guidance in our planning and preparation efforts.

DPH will continue to update Georgians through our website https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus, our Facebook page and our Twitter account. It is important to remember that the most accurate and timely information regarding this outbreak is available through DPH or the CDC’s website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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The Georgia Department of Public Health is the lead agency in preventing disease, injury and disability; promoting health and well-being; and preparing for and responding to disasters from a health perspective. For more information about DPH, visit www.dph.georgia.gov.

DPH Working to Identify and Prevent Coronavirus in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is closely monitoring the outbreak of 2019-nCoV (coronavirus) occurring in China and regularly coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. DPH has not confirmed any novel coronavirus cases to date, however the situation could change.

DPH is advising healthcare providers statewide to be alert for patients who have traveled from Wuhan, China and present with fever and respiratory symptoms. The Department sent out a detailed medical advisory to healthcare providers on reporting, testing, specimen collection and healthcare infection control recommendations for potential coronavirus cases. Healthcare providers who suspect 2019-nCoV infection in a patient should report them immediately to DPH by calling 1-866-PUB-HLTH (1-866-782-4584).

There currently are two confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States (Illinois and Washington) and more cases are expected. The CDC says the overall risk of coronavirus to the general public is low, but the best way to prevent infection of any respiratory virus is:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

For more information about coronavirus, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. Guidance for travelers can be found at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/novel-coronavirus-china.

Georgia Counties Share Car Seat Mini Grant

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH), Injury Prevention Program, Child Occupant Safety Project, is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of the Child Passenger Safety Mini-Grant. The Child Passenger Safety Mini-Grant program helps county health departments and their community partners reduce the number of injuries and deaths among children in Georgia. This year’s $166,000 award will be used to support the purchase of car seats to be distributed in over 107 Georgia counties. Funding for these efforts is provided by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).

And it works! Since 2007, the education, car seats and booster seats provided through the Mini Grant prevented serious injury or death and has saved over 375 of Georgia’s children who were involved in crashes.

“Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children and it’s up to all of us to do everything we can to protect our children on the road,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Buckling up our children is the best way to save lives and reduce injuries.”

Throughout Georgia, DPH and county health departments work with community partners to educate parents and caregivers on how to properly install and use car seats, offer car seat inspections and provide car seats and booster seats to financially eligible families. Through the Car Seat Mini-Grant, agencies supporting more than 143 counties are working to keep Georgia’s children safe. These programs help families get their children buckled up right, every trip, every time.

DPH takes great pride in providing opportunities to enhance community outreach programs in Georgia. Through our collective efforts, we can make considerable strides in achieving our goals. For more information on the child Occupant Safety Project, please email injury@dph.ga.gov or call the office at 404-463-1487.

2020 County Mini Grant Awardees:

Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Banks, Barrow, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Brooks, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Butts, Camden, Carroll, Charlton, Chatham, Chattahoochee, Cherokee, Clarke, Clay, Clayton, Cobb, Coffee, Colquitt, Columbia, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Dade, Dawson, DeKalb, Dougherty, Douglas, Early, Echols, Elbert, Fannin, Fayette, Forsyth, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Glynn, Gordon, Greene, Habersham, Haralson, Harris, Hart, Henry, Houston, Irvin, Jasper, Jeff Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Liberty, Lincoln, Long, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, McDuffie, McIntosh, Meriwether, Morgan, Murray, Muscogee, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Quitman, Randolph, Richmond, Rockdale, Schley, Spalding, Stephens, Stewart, Sumter, Taliaferro, Tattnall, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Troup, Twiggs, Union, Upson, Walton, Ware, Warren, Washington, Webster, White, Whitfield, Wilcox, Wilkinson, Worth.

Widespread flu activity

If you have not gotten a flu shot yet, do not wait any longer. Flu is widespread throughout Georgia.

Flu symptoms and their intensity can vary from person to person, and can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. If you think you have the flu, call or visit your doctor.

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often with soap and water can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent flu.

Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

Stay home when you are sick.
If you are sick with flu symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)

Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.

Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Most people who get flu will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death.

When caring for people who have the flu keep them away from common areas of the house and other people as much as possible.

Get immediate medical care if the sick person experiences:
In children
Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish lips or face
Ribs pulling in with each breath
Chest pain
Severe muscle pain (child refuses to walk)
Dehydration (no urine for 8 hours, dry mouth, no tears when crying)
Not alert or interacting when awake
Seizures
Fever above 104°F
In children less than 12 weeks, any fever
Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
Worsening of chronic medical conditions

In adults
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Persistent dizziness, confusion, inability to arouse
Seizures
Not urinating
Severe muscle pain
Severe weakness or unsteadiness
Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
Worsening of chronic medical conditions
These lists are not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.