Covid-19 Daily Status Report Backlog of Cases

Atlanta – Today’s COVID-19 Daily Status Report will reflect more than 27,000 newly reported cases (PCR positive and antigen positive combined). Please be advised this number includes a backlog of cases that were not previously reported by several large laboratories. The cases date back 7-10 days.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.

For information about COVID-19 and COVID vaccines, visit www.dph.ga.gov/covid-vaccine.

Habersham, Rabun and Stephens Counties to Open New Testing Sites

Free Covid-19 Test Site To Open In Rabun, Habersham, And Stephens Counties

HALL COUNTY – District 2 Public Health is partnering with Mako Medical and LTS Labs to provide FREE COVID-19 drive thru testing at the Community Market in Clayton, Stephens County Hospital and Habersham Hospital.

If an individual needs a COVID-19 test for work or school, or if they are feeling ill and would like to be tested for COVID-19 in Union County, the lab will offer Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests. These are not rapid tests and it will take 36 to 48 hours for results.

Testing is now available in Rabun County at the Community Market every Tuesday and Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. The Community Market COVID-19 testing site is located at 201 West Savannah Street, Clayton, GA 30525.

Beginning Thursday, January 13 the Habersham Hospital testing site will open at 541 Historic Hwy 441 N., Demorest, GA 30535. Testing will be available on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 9:00am to 3:00pm.

Beginning Friday, January 14 the Stephens County Hospital testing site will open at 163 Hospital Road, Toccoa, GA 30577. The site will operate on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00am to 3:00pm

While no appointment is required, registration with Mako Medical and LTS Labs is encouraged to decrease wait times at the testing site.

Registration information can be found at phdistrict2.org, click on the blue COVID-19 TESTING box, then click on the testing location of your choice to be directed to the registration page.

For more information about COVID-19 in the state of Georgia visit https://dph.georgia.gov.

PROTECT NORTH GEORGIA COMMUNITIES FROM COVID-19

REDUCE THE SPREAD OF THE OMICRON VARIANT WITH A LAYERED MITIGATION STRATEGY

GAINESVILLE – COVID-19 cases have rapidly increased over the holiday weekend. The number of positive cases nearly doubled in Georgia since Friday due to the fast spreading Omicron variant. The recent spike in cases mirrors the first months of COVID-19 infections.

District 2 Public Health Director, Zachary Taylor, M.D., is concerned. “Vaccination is the most important strategy available to us against COVID-19 variants, but we must also continue to use a layered approach of protection to keep our communities safe and healthy.”

A layered approach means:
• Wear a mask while indoors despite vaccination status
• Get a booster if eligible
• Wash your hands often
• Social distance when possible
• Get a COVID test if feeling sick or have been around someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

District 2 Public Health has six FREE COVID-19 drive-thru testing locations: Forsyth, Franklin, Hall (2), Lumpkin and Union counties.

Registration is available online and is highly recommended before arriving at the testing site to greatly reduce wait times:
• Visit phdistrict2.org
• Choose the testing location
• Register on the Mako or LTS website by inputting contact information and a valid email address
• Results will be sent to the email address provided within 48 hours

North Georgia residents are at a greater risk of infection and hospitalization from the Omicron variant, many communities are less than 50% fully vaccinated. In comparison, the state of Georgia has a vaccination rate of 53%.

District 2 Public Health officials are urging communities to stay vigilant and use all mitigation strategies available to minimize the burden on hospitals, families, and communities.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, and to find district-wide COVID-19 data visit the District 2 Public Health website at phdistrict2.org.

Covid-19 Safety During the Holiday Season

DISTRICT 2 PUBLIC HEALTH ENCOURAGES COVID-19 SAFETY DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON

GAINESVILLE – COVID-19 cases are on the rise in District 2 Public Health counties. Vaccination remains the most important part of COVID-19 holiday safety protocols. Get vaccinated or get a booster shot, wear a mask if gathering indoors, social distance, and wash your hands.

Although, the Delta variant is still the most prevalent variant in Georgia, accounting for over 90% of cases, the Omicron variant is proving to be a fast spreading COVID-19 variant. It is important to remain committed to protecting the most vulnerable. This holiday season can be enjoyed safely if precautions are taken to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Now is the time to get a COVID-19 booster for added protection. Anyone 16 and older who was vaccinated at least 6 months ago with two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or received the J & J vaccine at least 2 months ago is eligible for a booster shot.

The continued use of mitigation strategies will reduce the stress on hospitals and healthcare workers, while also keeping elderly and immunocompromised family members safe. If gathering with friends and family who are both vaccinated and unvaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands and social distance to reduce the chance of spreading or contracting COVID-19.

Testing is also important to reduce community spread of COVID-19. PCR tests are available at six drive-thru testing sites located in Forsyth, Franklin, Hall, Lumpkin, and Union counties. Results are available within 24 to 36 hours.

Forsyth County and Sherwood Plaza in Hall County will be the only testing sites open on Thursday, December 23. All testing sites will be closed on Christmas Eve.

For more information about COVID-19 testing and to find recent data about District 2 COVID-19 case rates and vaccination rates visit phdistrict2.org.

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

GAINESVILLE – All women are at risk for cervical cancer, most often occurring in women over age 30. The main cause of cervical cancer is caused by an infection known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). When cervical cancer is found early, it is highly treatable and associated with long survival and good quality of life.

HPV is a vaccine preventable virus that is passed from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact. At least half of sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives. Often, there are no symptoms associated with a HPV infection, and for most women it will go away on its own. If it does not there is a chance that over time it may cause cervical cancer.

The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cancer. The vaccine is recommended for preteens aged 11 to 12, before they become sexually active, but can be given starting at age 9 through the age of 26. Anyone older than 26, who is not vaccinated, should speak with their healthcare provider to determine if the vaccine is right for them.

January is observed as cervical cancer awareness month. Routine cervical cancer screening beginning at age 21 is the best way to detect changes in a woman’s body that can lead to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer screening tests may include a pap smear test to check for changes in cells, a HPV test, or both. Women are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider to see if cervical cancer screening is right for them. Screenings Save Lives!

District 2 Public Health Departments can provide cervical cancer screens as well as the HPV vaccine at all 13 health departments by appointment. No insurance is required.

For more information on the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention program visit phdistrict2.org.