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2 COVID-19 cases confirmed at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Braselton

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Update, March 16: One case of COVID-19 was reported in Hall County by the Department of Public Health. A second case sought medical treatment in Hall County, according to the local office. State numbers updated noon daily are counted by county of residence. 

Update, 11:30 p.m.:  Northeast Georgia Health System spokesman Sean Couch said late Sunday night that a second patient has tested positive for COVID-19, and both are being treated at the hospital system's Braselton branch.

Couch has not disclosed any other information about the patients.

Original story: Northeast Georgia Health System was notified Sunday morning that a patient tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at its Braselton hospital.

“Our physicians, nurses and other staff are following all guidelines from the CDC to provide the best possible care,” Anthony Williamson, president of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, said in a press release. “That includes keeping the patient in a negative pressure room, wearing personal protective equipment and following all recommended cleaning procedures to help keep the patient and all others in the hospital safe. People in our community should continue coming to NGMC Braselton for care as they need it.”

The hospital has not provided information about where the positive COVID-19 patient is from.

The total number of cases in Georgia as of noon Sunday, March 15, was 99. Gov. Brian Kemp said Saturday there is evidence of local transmission in the state and he advised social distancing to limit the spread. That has been defined as avoiding gatherings and keeping a distance of 6 feet from others as well as working from home whenever possible.

As of the afternoon of Sunday, March 15, only select entrances of NGHS hospitals were open for patients and visitors. Upon entrance, all patients and visitors will be screened for COVID-19. 

“These simple screening questions will help us protect all of our patients, visitors and employees as we try to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” Dr. Supriya Mannepalli, medical director of infection prevention and control for NGMC, said in a press release. “If a visitor is suspected for COVID-19, we will provide them with next steps to follow for testing.”

Testing in the state has been limited. Kemp said Saturday the state can process 100 tests per day and they hope to double that by the end of this week.