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Coronavirus in Georgia with first two cases confirmed by Gov. Kemp

Officials said two members of the same household from Fulton County have the ailment. Only one of them had traveled to Italy, however.

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp in a news conference Monday evening said that two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the state of Georgia. 

Officials said the cases are of two members of the same household in Fulton County who have the ailment. 

According to Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, one of the two recently went to Italy, while the other caught the virus after the first individual's return. 

Both have mild symptoms, according to Toomey. She said they were diagnosed at a local health provider and instructed to self-quarantine at home.

According to Toomey, the two are isolated at home with other relatives to prevent the illness from spreading beyond that family unit.

Kemp and Toomey were joined in the 10 p.m. news conference by:

  • Dr. Cherie Drenzek, State Epidemiologist 
  • Adjutant General Tom Carden, Georgia National Guard 
  • Director Homer Bryson, Georgia Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security
  • Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John King.

Each of the individuals participating in the news conference are members of the coronavirus task force Kemp named last Friday.

RELATED: Gov. Kemp creates coronavirus task force that will assess state's preparations

“We knew that Georgia would likely have confirmed cases of COVID-19, and we planned for it. The immediate risk of COVID-19 to the general public, however, remains low at this time,” Toomey said in a statement. “I cannot emphasize enough the need for all Georgians to follow the simple precautions that DPH always urges to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.”

Before Monday night's news conference, Kemp spoke with Vice President Mike Pence about the two new confirmed cases in Georgia. The Georgia task force was briefed prior to Kemp's late-night news conference. 

“Our team has been working around the clock to prepare for any scenario. Already, state health officials have established contact with these individuals to gather more information, monitor their condition, and determine any exposure,” Kemp said.

RELATED: Pence tells governors money for coronavirus costs is coming

Vice President Mike Pence's national task force held a press conference early Monday evening to provide a national update on the coronavirus outbreak. Pence said his team would give daily updates on the situation.

To put the coronavirus numbers in context, millions of Americans get the flu every single year and there are thousands of flu deaths annually.

Since October 2019, the CDC estimates around 32 million Americans have gotten the flu. That’s one in every 10 Americans.

Since the coronavirus outbreak began late last year, there have been around 80,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in China. That means those cases account for just around .0056% of China's population.

If you suspect you may have COVID-19

Anyone who has recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of coronavirus and develop fever with cough and shortness of breath within 14 days of travel, or have had contact with someone who is suspected of having COVID-19, stay at home and contact your health care provider or local health department right away. 

Make certain 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.


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