Cobb & Douglas Public Health is working with federal, state and local partners to expand COVID-19 testing in our community as rapidly as possible. Currently, we are finalizing plans to offer offering drive-through testing ONLY for our highest risk individuals, who if they had the virus, would dramatically impact many individuals in the entire community (e.g., healthcare workers, first responders, teachers, nursing home residents).
COVID-19 TESTING WILL NOT BE PROVIDED TO THE GENERAL COMMUNITY AT THIS TIME.
Individuals who may be experiencing symptoms are encouraged to isolate at home and to call their doctor or 911 if their conditions worsen.
What is Coronavirus Disease 2019?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), in consultation with the CDC, is evaluating patient information received from healthcare providers about potential cases of coronavirus in Georgia.
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: 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).
Are You Showing 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
- shortness of breath
- a general feeling of being unwell
Is Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19: 7 Things To Do Right Now
Flyer/Door Cling for Businesses: If You Are Ill, Stop and Call Before Entering Facility
Guidance and Additional Information:
Guidance for Confirmed Cases and Contacts
Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
Interim Guidance for Healthcare Professionals
Interim Guidance for Healthcare Facilities
Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services
Interim Guidance for Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools
Interim Guidance for Higher Education and Colleges
Interim Guidance for Community and Faith-Based Organizations
Interim Guidance for Large Gatherings and Community Events
Guidance for Older Adults and Those With Chronic Medical Conditions
Guidance for Continuity Planning and Emergency Preparedness (COOP)
Guidance for Body Art Studios
Information for People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19 (Older Adults/People with Chronic Diseases)
Information for Law Enforcement Personnel
Strategies for Long-Term Care Facilities
Precautions for Polling Stations
Information for Travel
What the Public Should Expect:
- The CDC is advising the public to prepare for the possibility that more areas of the U.S. will experience community spread of the virus. When that happens, different communities may take different measures to contain the spread and minimize the impact, depending on local conditions.
- Infection control measures may involve recommendations for personal protection, social distancing, and environmental cleaning.
- Examples of personal protection recommendations may include staying home if you’re sick, washing your hands, and possibly self-quarantining of household members of sick individuals.
- Examples of social distancing measures may include dividing students into smaller groups, closing schools and using technology for instruction when possible. In the workplace, employers may consider replacing meetings with video conferences and increasing opportunities for teleworking. Communities may choose to modify, postpone or cancel mass gatherings. Hospitals may triage patients differently, delay elective surgery and increase telehealth services.
- Environmental cleaning measures may include asking everyone to consistently clean frequently touched surfaces on objects at home, school, work, and in the area of large gatherings.
What is Cobb & Douglas Public Health Doing to Respond?
- Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) has been preparing internally, as well as with Georgia Department of Public Health (GA DPH) and the CDC since January to put processes in place to slow community spread of COVID-19. We are working with our partners, including local governments, healthcare organizations, businesses, first responders, and local school districts to ensure our community remains prepared, calm and responds according to CDC guidance.
- We have been reaching out to our healthcare partners, emergency management agencies, chambers of commerce, and other community partners who may need our guidance and are sending them instructions on how to prepare their organizations prior to any local crisis.
- CDPH staff receive frequent updates from the CDC and GA DPH and are meeting daily to implement this guidance. These updates include information on the current situation, testing protocols, surveillance, quarantine directions, and more. This is helping us to manage our local response as information is available.
- GA DPH and CDPH have previously-developed a pandemic influenza plan that is serving as a template for responding to other outbreaks of severe respiratory disease, like COVID-19. We have updated our plan and are also implementing specific COVID-19 guidance from GA DPH and the CDC as the situation evolves.
- CDPH epidemiologists are investigating any positive cases and potential contacts according to CDC protocol.
Videos from Cobb and Douglas County Government:
March 13, 2020 – Chairman Jackson Jones and Dr. Janet Memark release a statement to the residents of Douglas County regarding COVID-19. WATCH HERE
March 12, 2020 – Chairman Mike Boyce and Dr. Janet Memark have the latest on the county’s COVID-19 virus response in this rapidly-changing situation. WATCH HERE
March 9, 2020 – Chairman Mike Boyce and a large Cobb contingent attended a briefing at Dobbins ARB where they are preparing to quarantine dozens of cruise ship passengers. Watch his update following this briefing. WATCH HERE
March 8, 2020 – Cobb Chairman Mike Boyce, along with Cobb & Douglas Public Health Director Dr. Janet Memark, released a statement following an early-morning meeting with health and public safety officials about quarantined cruise ship passengers coming to Dobbins ARB. WATCH HERE