ATLANTA — A Georgia Waffle House employee who was quarantined at a state park has been released, officials said Sunday.
Joey Camp was in isolation at Hard Labor Creek State Park after contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.
Camp, a former Georgia National Guardsman who worked at the Waffle House in Canton, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he thought he would be isolated in the park for 14 days.
Camp told the paper that the Georgia Department of Health told him Sunday morning he could go home because he didn’t have a fever or any other symptoms of the virus.
Channel 2′s Tony Thomas talked to Camp on Saturday. The 30-year-old is the only one who has been in isolation so far at the park.
Camp told Thomas he only has a mild cough after being diagnosed with COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus. The Cherokee County man said he has diabetes and was first diagnosed with pneumonia after going to the hospital with a fever, chills and aching joints.
Camp said people shouldn’t worry so much about the illness, unless they have a compromised immune system like he does.
“I want people to stop freaking out,” Camp said. “I want people to calm down and understand, yes it’s an infectious disease, and yes, if your immune system is compromised, it’s dangerous.”
Camp said his trailer at the park had a refrigerator and freezer and that it wasn’t so bad. He said he spent his days watching movies and the craziness developing everywhere else.
“I think it’s a mild inconvenience that we are treating this like it’s Ebola,” Camp said.
The state public health commissioner hopes that quarantining people like Camp and canceling events will curb the virus.
“What we are trying to do is to keep that spread of person-to-person disease from going so quickly, we call the epidemic curve, to be so steep that we overwhelm our hospitals,” Dr. Kathleen Toomey said.
Camp told Thomas on Saturday that he hoped go back home in three to nine days.
“When I stop shedding the virus is when they are probably going to be able to release me," Camp said.
Camp said he’s worried about what’s going to happen when he goes home.
"With how crazy people have been acting out in the real world, I’m going to get prepared for mass hysteria,” Camp said.
Camp could have self-quarantined at home but was living with a family with a child and didn’t want to infect the baby. His advice?
“Wash your hands. Just be mindful of normal human hygiene and we will make it through this,” he said.
The State Department of Public Health said 56% of the confirmed cases of coronavirus in Georgia are in men. More than half are 60+.
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