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Three cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, from Forsyth County were reported on Thursday by the Georgia Department of Public Health, bring the county's total to 53.
It was a second straight day of modest increases of reported infections from the county. Earlier in the week, Forsyth saw its largest daily increases thus far, with eight on Monday and 11 on Tuesday, contributing to county's total more than doubling in five days.
Confirmed cases continued to grow statewide, with 696 new ones reported Thursday, for a total of 5,444 at the DPH's final daily update at 7 p.m. Another 22 deaths from the virus were also reported, bringing the statewide total to 176 since the coronavirus outbreak began.
Almost 23,000 tests have now been conducted, according to the DPH, and the rate of testing is expected to increase after Kemp announced a new partnership on Tuesday, March 31, between the University System of Georgia, the Georgia Public Health Laboratory and Emory University to increase Georgia’s COVID-19 testing to process more than 3,000 samples a day.
Also on Thursday, Gov. Brian Kemp's office released the details of the public order to shelter-in-place he announced Wednesday afternoon. The order compels Georgians to practice social distancing while allowing for travel for several purposes including to purchase food and medicine and allows many businesses to remain open as long they comply with social distancing restrictions. It also defines what businesses must do to protect workers and defines how the order may be enforced.
Little information has been available about the county's positive COVID-19 cases, except that one is confirmed to be an employee at a Publix in Cumming and another is an employee at a manufacturing plant in the county.
Publix officials confirmed Monday, March 23 that an employee at its Cruse Marketplace store, at 1735 Buford Highway in Cumming, tested positive. The company said the store completed a disinfection-level deep cleaning, using guidelines from the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Panduit Corporation confirmed one of the company's employees at its manufacturing plant, located at 1819 Atlanta Highway in Cumming, also tested positive.
Spokeswoman Lisa Mattes said that the employee self-quarantined and the company notified any employees that the person may have come into contact with. The plant was temporarily shut down until Monday, March 23. Mattes said the plant was also thoroughly sanitized and cleaned after its closure.
On Monday, March 30, officials with Scientific Games said it took steps to clean the gaming and lottery company's manufacturing facility in south Forsyth after an employee with one of the company's suppliers visited and later tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Forsyth County's first death related to COVID-19 was reported on Tuesday, March 24 by the GDPH. The individual was an 87-year-old male, according to the department. It's unknown whether the individual had any underlying medical conditions, according to department records. The DPH could provide no further information.