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Confirmed cases of the coronavirus from Forsyth County saw the largest daily increase Tuesday on the same day that local officials enacted new measures designed to stop the spread of the virus.
Eleven more cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, from Forsyth County were reported on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 47, up from 36 on Monday, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. The number of infections statewide rose by more than 1,000, from 3,032 to 4,117, with 23 new deaths for a total of 125 since the coronavirus outbreak began.
More than 16,000 tests have been conducted statewide, according to the DPH, and the rate of testing is expected to increase after Gov. Brian Kemp announced a new partnership on Tuesday 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.
The sharp increase in local infections came on the same day that city of Cumming leaders signed separate emergency orders to close dine-in and patio service at restaurants, similar to one declared by Forsyth County on Friday, March 27. The city also announced plans to swear in 150 "special policemen" to enforce new social distancing guidelines within the city limits.
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.
Little information has been available about the county's other 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 has 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.