Gov. Kemp confirms 6 positive cases, 11 presumptive cases of coronavirus across state

"As the cases become more numerous across the country, we are definitely going to see more cases here in Georgia," Kemp said Friday. "We are ready."

MORGAN COUNTY, Ga. — Gov. Brian Kemp says Georgia has at least six confirmed cases of COVID-19, the coronavirus, and at least 11 other presumptive positive cases that have yet to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"As the cases become more numerous across the country, we are definitely going to see more cases here in Georgia," Kemp said Friday. "We are ready."

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The governor said over the weekend, state health officials learned about a case of a South Korean national now hospitalized in Fulton County.

POSITIVE CASES

  • 3 cases in Fulton County. Two are family members under home quarantine after person traveled to Italy. Other victim is hospitalized. Source of their infection is unknown
  • 1 in Floyd County under home quarantine. Source of virus unknown.
  • 1 in Cobb County. Person traveled to Italy and is under home isolation with mild symptoms
  • 1 in Polk County. Person is hospitalized and source of infection is unknown

Kemp said the person flew into Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and a customs agent noticed the person was showing symptoms consistent the coronavirus.

Agents at the airport immediately took that person to the CDC quarantine unit inside the airport for further evaluation and the person was eventually taken a metro hospital.

The governor said it is unknown if the traveler was showing symptoms while on the flight from South Korea to Atlanta or now.

PRESUMPTIVE CASES:

  • Fulton County: 2
  • Cobb County: 3
  • Fayette County: 1
  • DeKalb County: 2
  • Gwinnett County: 2
  • Cherokee County: 1

Kemp said officials were able to get a translator to help talk with the patient and that person has been transferred to an isolation location where state health officials will monitor their condition.

The governor’s office said in a news release later Monday evening that the South Korean patient tested negative for the virus.

“State officials have notified federal and local partners - including airport officials - about this individual’s negative test result,” the governor’s office said in a news release.

"From the very beginning we have promised to be transparent to keep all Georgians informed. That's why we're telling people now that the national message has changed, and we need the public to continue to follow important guidance," Kemp said.

The governor also spoke about the state’s move to ready Hard Labor Creek State Park in Morgan County for potential use of isolating and monitoring patients.

The move is being made “out of an abundance of caution,” the governor said.

Officials have already delivered and installed seven emergency trailers at the park.

“To prevent the disruption of ongoing operations, access to this specific part of Hard Labor Creek State Park is strictly limited to official use,” the governor’s office said in a release.

Kemp said a confirmed coronavirus patient from Cherokee County may be transferred the park for isolation, but health officials are still working to determine if that is necessary.

Kemp urged some key points that he wants all Georgians to follow:

  • Wash your hands
  • Avoid contact with your face and eyes.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Get a flu shot.

Kemp said state officials are taking measures to help the most vulnerable communities being impacted by the virus: the elderly and those with chronic conditions.

He urged those people to following these measures:

  • If you are sick, do not go to work.
  • Do not attend large events, you will put others at risk.
  • If you are elderly or have underlying chronic conditions, avoid large events and stay away from loved ones and friends who are sick.
  • federal officials are urging these vulnerable populations to avoid travel to avoid hot zones and avoid cruise ship travel all together.