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Confirmed coronavirus cases in Forsyth County at 73, top 6,700 statewide
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is depicted in an illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020. - photo by Associated Press

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Two more cases of COVID-19 were reported from Forsyth County on Sunday by the Georgia Department of Public Health, capping a week that has seen a sharp increase in the local number of infections.

A week ago, Forsyth's count of confirmed COVID-19 cases stood at 28, with one death: an 87-year-old man. Forsyth now has 73 cases after the DPH's daily status report at 7 p.m.

Confirmed cases and deaths continue to grow statewide, with 6,742 and 219, respectively. Almost 20% of cases have required hospitalization.

A total of 27,832 tests have been conducted in Georgia, although health experts say tests are still mostly limited. Gov. Brian Kemp announced a partnership this week 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.

Little information has been made available about individual cases. Georgia has generally released few details at the county level, though it has started to provide more information about individual deaths, and on Friday, the state released a list of confirmed cases at long-term care facilities for the first time.

During a regular meeting of the Forsyth County Commission on Thursday, Dr. Scott Cooper, a neurologist at Northside Hospital Forsyth and husband of District 1 Commissioner Molly Cooper, reported there were 10 patients in the hospital's ICU that were positive for COVID-19, the disease caused the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Among the other positive cases is an individual at The Mann House on Majors Road near Piney Grove Middle School.

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.