First case of coronavirus in Clinch County confirmed

A Clinch County man has been confirmed positive for the Coronavirus COVID-19.

The test was confirmed Friday night, according to a press release from Clinch Memorial Hospital.

Clinch Memorial Hospital CEO Angela Ammons said the man (who is in his early 50s and in good health) used the hospitals’ drive-thru screening station on March 17. The test kit returned the results Friday evening.

“This person was not hospitalized and the source of their exposure is not known,” said Ammons.  “The person is a resident of Clinch County and is currently at home, under self-quarantine.  Their physician has reported to us that they show only mild symptoms and appear to be recovering.  The only contact that this person had with our staff was limited to the drive-thru screening station, where our staff took a swab for purposes of the testing and they were in full personal protective equipment.”

The positive test for the coronavirus is the first in Clinch County. Ammons said the hospital has conducted 15 tests. She said the hospital ordered 300 more testing kits, but only received 10. With so few tests available locally, Ammons urged residents to practice social distancing and only seek testing when showing symptoms of the virus.

“All of us need to practice social distancing and do our part to help slow the spread of the virus, and to lower the risk to our most at-risk citizens: those with prior conditions and the elderly,” she said.  “This is all the more important when, as is the case, we can’t test every single person.  That’s just not realistic. Our suppliers can not keep up with the demand in the nation. Our orders for personal protective equipment have been rejected and we currently do not know when we will get new shipments in. Our frontline medical staff are committed to serving the public and to meet the needs of those who are sick, so please be kind to them as we are facing unprecedented times.”

Symptoms for the coronavirus include fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. See more about symptoms of the virus at:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.

Keep up with updates about COVID-19, local announcements, and more at the South Georgia Coronavirus Informational Page, set up last week by this newspaper: South Georgia Coronavius Informational Page.

 

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