ATLANTA - A second State Senator confirmed Friday she tested positive for the coronavirus. This comes just two days after the Lt. Governor of Georgia and nearly all of the Georgia Legislature began a self-quarantine following possible exposure.
Kay Kirkpatrick, a Republican who represents portions of Cobb and Fulton counties, posted about it on her Facebook page Friday:
“To all my FB friends, I wanted to let everyone know that I developed a fever last Saturday night, March 15. As a physician, I immediately started self-quarantine with COMPLETE isolation and called my doctor and I have been home and feeling well since that time. I was tested for COVID-19 on Sunday and late today my test results came back positive. I have followed the strict protocol recommended by DPH and am comfortable that I have not put anyone at risk.
“My husband has been a saint and we will continue to follow DPH instructions to quarantine for one more week. We will not be out and about until we have completed the protocol.
“Fortunately it is a great time to be on my back porch. Although I am in the at-risk age group, I am blessed to be very healthy and thankful that I am recovering without complications. I will be happy to have immunity to this awful virus.
“I have learned a lot from this situation, including how kind my friends, neighbors and relatives are and I want to thank all of them. I probably won’t be answering a lot of posts right now so if you need me please call or email my office. Please follow the recommendations of DPH and CDC and continue social distancing, hand hygiene and surface cleaning. It matters!”
Kirkpatrick, who was seated following a special election in 2017, was a practicing orthopedic surgeon.
Wednesday, State Senator Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, announced he tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Sen. Beach was in attendance at Monday's special session.
Both are now in isolation at home as are most Georgia state lawmakers.
State health officials expect to see more confirmed cases and deaths as testing continues and the virus spreads within local communities.
DPH says it is working closely with the CDC, and state partners to respond to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S., including Georgia. The goal is to quickly identify cases of COVID-19 and take the appropriate public health action to reduce its spread and protect the general public.
Public health officials have urged social distancing to slow down or stop the spread of coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults who are 60+ and people with serious medical conditioners, such as heart disease and diabetes, are at higher risk of getting very sick from coronavirus.
Georgia Coronavirus Hotline: 844-442-2681
Since the first cases of COVID-19 was confirmed in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp has declared a public health state of emergency, allowing resources to be marshaled for the treatment and mitigation of the virus. All public schools in the state were ordered closed until March 31. Public gatherings have also been limited to no more than 10 people in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
Mobile testing sites have been deployed in certain regions of the state, with more on the way. Kemp has said he does not plan to impose any statewide curfews, business closures or forced quarantines. For now, the governor said he will leave it up to local officials whether to shutdown businesses or require people to stay home.
Officials in Dougherty County and Athens-Clarke County are ordering residents to stay home unless they’re going to work, buying food, seeking medical care or exercising.
“Drastic measures must be taken to decelerate the spread of COVID-19,” Albany Mayor Bo Dorough said at a news conference Friday. “We anticipate the results of the more than 1,000 tests we have conducted will confirm we have hundreds of people in Dougherty County with the virus.”
At least two Georgia cities imposed nighttime curfews for all residents. Atlanta and multiple suburbs have banned in-restaurant dining, limiting eateries to takeout and delivery service, as well as closing bars, theaters, bowling alleys and other gathering places. Tybee Island banned visitors to beaches, as well as the open consumption of alcohol.
Georgia has opened at least 13 drive-thru locations for virus testing and plans more. Kemp says priority for tests is being given to those at highest risk — the elderly, people who already have chronic illnesses, those in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities and first responders such as paramedics.
Best prevention measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
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