Courtesy of CBS 46
Home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Georgia saw its first case of the disease making headlines around the world, COVID-19, on Tuesday, March 3. The first cases, involving two Fulton County residents living in the same household, took Georgia by surprise. Governor Brian Kemp reassured Georgians that officials are prepared for the coronavirus and not to worry. As more cases are discovered throughout the week, the state wonders what’s next?
After the discovery of the Fulton County cases, schools in that county closed to ensure the disease does not spread further. Fulton County coronavirus cases stand at 33 infected [at the time of publication]. Cases in Cobb County come in at the staggering number of 28 people. The toll for presumptive cases rises as more Georgians rush to the doctor for testing.
As for Cobb County residents, news of a case at Kincaid Elementary School made the pandemic more real and frightening. The school will remain closed for two weeks to sanitize and ensure the stop of the virus. Classes will continue through a digital platform to not lose education time as the end of the year approaches fast. Meanwhile, at Hartsfield-Jackson airport, thousands of travelers have been tested for COVID-19. Winding lines to receive coronavirus testing leaves the international side of the busiest airport in the world empty.
A COVID-19 related death in Cobb County caused Governor Kemp to issue advice to public schools across Georgia.
“This is not a mandate. We know school closures have a major impact on Georgia families,” Kemp said.
As of March 16, Kemp issued an executive order to close all Georgia public schools until March 31. Overnight, schools K-12 switched to digital learning plans as the state government announced a public state health emergency.
Fortunately, the governor has taken COVID-19 seriously, appropriating $100 million to halt the spread and help facilities test over 200 people per day for the illness. In just a matter of weeks, Georgia set up housing facilities for those quarantined, but do not require immediate medical attention and a coronavirus hotline for questions about the hot topic. These precautions ensure that hospitals do not run out of supplies or become overwhelmed with cases.
Although precautions have been mandated, Georgia now prepares to take in 124 passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship from California to quarantine at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. With schools and businesses operating remotely, the state and country hope to maintain a grip on the spreading virus and “flatten the curve.”