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First case of COVID-19 confirmed in Forsyth County
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

We know that you need accurate and up-to-date information about the effects of the coronavirus in the state and our region. The Forsyth County News is making this article available free to non-subscribers as a public service. Please consider subscribing to the Forsyth County News.

Update (March 16, 11:45 a.m.):  Forsyth County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Laura Semanson said in a statement on Monday morning that the county was aware of the case and working with other agencies to monitor the disease. 

“This morning we received confirmation from public health that there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Forsyth County. We are keeping this individual, their family and those caring for the individual in our thoughts and prayers," Semanson said.

"At the County, we continue to follow the most up-to-date guidance from our local public health department, the state Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  We encourage our residents to do the same. Through our Emergency Management Agency, we continue to work in conjunction with partner agencies to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and how it may affect our residents and employees.  We will be providing updated information regarding any impacts to County facilities and services on our website.”

Original story below

The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed the first case of the novel coronavirus in Forsyth County.

DPH officials made the announcement in a news release on Monday morning and said the department “is working to identify and notify any close contacts who may have been exposed to COVID-19.” The release said the case was reported on Sunday, along with a confirmed case in Hall County.

Northeast Georgia Health System said on Sunday two patients had tested positive for COVID-19 at its Braselton hospital.

A part-time employee at the North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawson County also tested positive for the disease over the weekend.

On Saturday morning, Gov. Brian Kemp declared a public health emergency for the state of Georgia, and as of Monday morning, 111 cases of coronavirus had been reported in the state.

According to the DPH release, those who are elderly or with “chronic medical conditions” may have an increased risk of catching the disease and anyone with a fever with cough and shortness of breath or who has been in contact with anyone who might have the disease should stay home and contact a healthcare provider.

Before seeking medical attention, patients are recommended to call and tell them your symptoms.

DPH said the best measures for preventing spread of the disease are:

· Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

· Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Maintain at least 6 feet of space from anyone who appears ill.

· 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.

This story will be updated.