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● Forsyth County holds first vaccination event.
● US allows emergency COVID-19 vaccine in bid to end pandemic.
● Governor extends state of emergency through Oct. 10.
● Here's how many Forsyth County students, staff are quarantined after the first full week of school.
● Kemp to let local governments require face masks if conditions are met.
● Forsyth County Jail freezes inmate movement as COVID-19 cases rise.
● Forsyth County Courthouse closed Aug. 14 after COVID-19 case detected.
● COVID-19 vaccine trials ramp up in Atlanta.
● 56 Forsyth County government workers have tested positive for COVID-19.
● Kemp extends COVID-19 safety measures through Aug. 15
● Georgia World Congress Center to reopen for COVID-19 patients.
● Georgia announces new partnership to get faster COVID-19 test results.
● Forsyth County school district to delay start of 2020-21 year.
● GHSA delays football season two weeks; other fall sports still on schedule.
● Walmart to require customers to wear masks at all its stores
● Browns Bridge Church suspends in-person services for the remainder of the year.
● Forsyth County Schools approve final reopening guidelines without face mask mandate.
● Atlanta mayor to require masks in city.
● Georgia Highlands to offer free COVID-19 testing July 10.
● Forsyth County BOE to vote on final school reopening plan July 9.
● Kemp, health experts urge mask wearing in Georgia.
● YMCA Eagle Point camper tests positive for COVID-19.
● COVID-19 halts conditioning for two Forsyth County teams.
● Child at Forsyth County summer camp tests positive for COVID-19.
● Red Cross offers free COVID-19 antibody test with blood donations.
● Georgia Highlands announces free COVID-19 testing on Friday, June 19.
● U.S. revokes emergency use of malaria drugs vs. coronavirus.
● Sports leagues, conventions get green light in Georgia amid COVID-19
● Pinecrest Academy plans to return to in-person classes Aug. 6
● Forsyth County voters should prepare for ‘busy’ June 9 primary.
● Jobless now have online tutorials to help guide them through the claims process.
● Forsyth County libraries to reopen June 15 with adjusted hours.
● Forsyth County Schools presents early plan for reopening in August.
● Fitness classes at Cumming rec facilities to return June 15.
● Forsyth County offices reopen to public with new appointment system.
● Georgia Highlands Medical Services to offer free COVID-19 testing at The Place on Wednesday.
● Georgia schools given guidelines for reopening amid COVID-19.
● Cumming will hold Fourth of July parade with social distancing measures.
● Another wave of Forsyth County parks and recreation facilities are reopening next week.
● Forsyth County Schools to give first look at plan for reopening schools in the fall.
● State of emergency extended, but moves made to reopen bars, bring back sports.
● Weekly COVID-19 testing site opens at Forsyth Central High School.
● Georgia lawmakers will try to cut 14% from coronavirus-depleted state budget.
● Kemp urges patience for Georgia's COVID-19 data.
● Working groups formed to plan school reopenings in Georgia.
● CVS to open 23 drive-thru COVID-19 test sites in Georgia, including 2 in Forsyth County.
● Georgia Highlands Medical Services to offer free COVID-19 testing on Thursday at The Place.
● Forsyth County Schools seeks feedback about returning to classes in fall.
● Forsyth County reopening dog parks, skate park on Monday.
● County plans to hold public hearings in June, extend other COVID responses.
● Duncan eyes June 15 return for Georgia lawmakers.
● Georgia to add 1,000 staff, new online tool to boost contact tracing.
● Georgia Highlands offering free COVID-19 testing on May 13.
● How to get free COVID-19 testing in Forsyth County on Saturday, May 9.
● Any Georgian who wants can now get tested for the coronavirus.
● Local healthcare provider offering free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Friday.
● Forsyth County Chamber to hold virtual hiring event on Friday.May 4
● Forsyth County libraries to begin curbside pick-up service May 11.
● Despite recent heavy use, Mary Alice Park plans to officially open this weekend.
● Cumming cancels Memorial Day event due to COVID-19.
● Cumming to host second day of free COVID-19 testing.
● Chick-fil-A employee in Cumming tests positive for COVID-19.
● Forsyth County parks will starting reopening May 1.
● Costco customers required to wear face coverings starting May 4.
● Kemp allowing shelter-in-place order to expire, with some exceptions.
● 9 deputies at Forsyth County Sheriff's Office test positive for COVID-19.
● Georgia rolls out first antibody testing initiative.
● Georgia National Guard offering free COVID-19 testing in Cumming on April 25
● Congress delivers nearly $500 billion more in virus aid.
● Many Forsyth County churches are hesitant to resume in-person services.
● This Cumming medical provider has tested more than 300 patients for COVID-19.
● Forsyth County commits to COVID-19 hazard pay for employees.
● Restaurants, some other businesses to reopen soon, under new guidelines
● Kemp to discuss how Georgia could reopen amid virus fight.
● Seventh COVID-19 death from Forsyth County documented.
● Third Publix employee from Forsyth County tests positive for COVID-19.
● Forsyth County extends local state of emergency to May 13.
● State confirms Forsyth County's sixth COVID-19 death.April 16
● Trump gives governors 3-phase plan to reopen economy.
● Jobless claims in Georgia hit all-time high.
● Cumming recreation and park programs canceled through May 24.
● Public health department expands COVID-19 testing guidelines.
● GEMA to provide 911 centers with addresses of patients with COVID-19.
● Forsyth County Schools issues grading, instruction plan for end of 2019-20 school year.
● COVID-19 projected to peak in Georgia on May 1, but it's a moving target.
● $1,200 stimulus check could start hitting bank accounts this week.
● Georgia setting up 200-bed COVID site in convention center.
● Fifth COVID-19 death from Forsyth County reported.
● 2 more deaths from COVID-19 reported from Forsyth County.
● City of Cumming extend closures to April 30.
● Confirmed cases of COVID-19 pass 100 in Forsyth County.
● May 19 primary postponed to June 9.
● Kemp extends shelter-in-place order through April 30.
● State reports second death in Forsyth County from COVID-19.
● Kemp extends state of emergency through May 13.
● South Forsyth lab develops COVID-19 test.
● Forsyth County confirmed coronavirus cases jump to 85.
● Georgia opens mass COVID-19 testing site at Georgia Tech.
● North Georgia leaders ask Gov. Kemp to close state parks.
● Second Publix employee in Forsyth tests positive for COVID-19.
● Confirmed coronavirus cases in Forsyth County at 73, top 6,700 statewide.
● Sheriff Freeman to answer questions about shelter-in-place order in virtual town hall.
● How Sawnee EMC is giving back to its members.
● Confirmed case of COVID-19 in Forsyth County long-term care facility.
● How Northside Hospital Forsyth is handling COVID-19 pandemic.
● Forsyth County high school graduations rescheduled for late July.
● Sheriff's Office breaks down what is, isn't allowed under new stay-at-home order.
● Confirmed coronavirus cases in Forsyth County at 53, top 5,400 statewide.
● Governor issues order detailing shelter-in-place rules.
● Jobless claims in Georgia increased by 1,102% in a week’s time.
● Confirmed coronavirus cases in Forsyth County reach 50, more than doubling in five days.
● Kemp orders Georgians to shelter in place, closes K-12 public schools for the school year.
● Cumming will have social distancing order without 'special police,' fines.
● State announces plan to ramp up COVID-19 testing
● Cumming orders all restaurants in city to close dine-in service.
● 8 more confirmed COVID-19 cases from Forsyth County as statewide mark reaches 3,000.
● Lottery ticket manufacturer in Forsyth County says one of its suppliers visited and later tested positive for COVID-19.
● Why Cumming government leaders haven't ordered businesses to close.
● 6 more confirmed COVID-19 cases in Forsyth County, 28 total.
● DNR officials to enforce social distancing at parks, lakes.
● Trump extends virus guidelines, braces U.S. for big death toll.
● As virus spreads, so does gloomy outlook for Georgia budget.March 27
● Cumming extends public closures, suspension of recreation programs.
● Forsyth County orders all restaurants to close dine-in service.
● Confirmed coronavirus cases in Forsyth County reaches 20.
● How commissioners continued the business of Forsyth County by teleconference.
● Where does the $2.2 trillion in coronavirus relief package go?
● President Trump signed record $2.2 trillion relief package.
● Confirmed coronavirus cases in Georgia now over 2,000.
● Kemp defends not ordering all Georgians to stay home.March 26
● Coronavirus cases top 1,600 in Georgia.
● Synagogue adds six services to program for at-risk residents.
● Forsyth County Chamber helping to collect info from businesses seeking ‘essential’ status.
● Unemployment benefits extended for struggling Georgians.
● Here are some places still hiring in Forsyth County.
● Gov. Brian Kemp closes schools through April 24.
● Number of COVID-19 cases in Forsyth County jumps to 15March 25
● UNG student tests positive for COVID-19.
● Gov. Brian Kemp to hold coronavirus town hall at 8 p.m. March 26.
● 10th coronavirus case confirmed in Forsyth County.
● Forsyth County Public Library extends closures ’until further notice.'
● What Forsyth County leader is saying about the community's response to county’s COVID-19 measures
● White House, Congress agree on $2 trillion virus rescue bill.March 24
● State health officials report first COVID-19 death in Forsyth County.
● Forsyth County band live-streaming concert to benefit local businesses, nonprofit.
● Forsyth County, Cumming announce further restrictions, extend closures of park facilities.
● All Georgia voters will get absentee ballot application for May primary.
● Confirmed coronavirus cases tops 1,000 statewide, 8 in Forsyth County.
● Is your business eligible for a disaster relief loan? Find out at this free webinar.March 23
● Employee at Publix in Forsyth County tests positive for coronavirus.● Governor orders bars to close, "medically fragile" to shelter in place. March 22
● 2 eateries at Halcyon temporarily close over coronavirus concerns.
● Forsyth County libraries will now be closed through the end of March.
● YMCAs are being turned into child care centers for health workers, including in Forsyth County.March 20
● Forsyth County OKs to-go alcohol sales to help restaurants.
● The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closes some parks on Lake Lanier to limit spread of coronavirus.
● Johns Creek city council suspends dine-in services at restaurants.
● Kemp executive orders protect drug prescriptions, pay for state medical supplies.
● State advises limiting gatherings over 10 for next eight weeks.
● Income tax filing deadline moved to July 15 from April 15.
● Cumming approved new rules to conduct the city's business in emergencies.
● Third confirmed case of COVID-19 reported in Forsyth County, 287 across Georgia.
● Trump taps emergency powers, signs relief bill as virus wreaks havoc.
● State senators told to self-quarantine after member tests positive.March 18
● Employee at Forsyth County manufacturing plant tests positive for the coronavirus.
● Forsyth County Schools will expand services to feed students, families during coronavirus crisis.
● Forsyth County declares state of emergency due to COVID-19.
● Forsyth County synagogue calls on volunteers to help older community members stuck at home.
● Georgia has 197 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
● Second case of COVID-19 confirmed in Forsyth County.March 17
● Georgia limited to 100 COVID-19 tests a day, state officials hope to double by week's end.
● Forsyth County Schools gave out more than 400 free meals to students.
● The city of Cumming announces further closures due to coronavirus.
● Forsyth County Schools announced Tuesday morning that it plans to move forward with a normal operating schedule after spring break on Monday, April 13.March 16
7:10 p.m.: Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday issued an executive order closing all public primary, secondary and post-secondary schools from March 18 to March 31.
This extends closures for many school systems, which were already closed and/or conducting online learning.
5:58 p.m.: The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office announced it will be suspending community courses such as the Citizens Law Enforcement Academy and Women’s Self Defense courses along with services such as fingerprinting and background checks for alcohol service permits.
The FCSO has also decided to temporarily suspend some services and outside jail programs. Programs that help to hold GED classes, bring together religious organizations and allow for visitation time for inmates have all been suspended. While inmates will not be able to see family and friends, Freeman said that detention center venders will be granting free additional e-postcards and phone time to those who want it.
While the FCSO's two precincts and the jail in the county will remain open to the public, he encourages that residents use online resources provided by the office or call over the phone when they can, limiting unnecessary face-to-face contact for the time being. Residents can report minor crimes through FCSO’s online portal.
FCSO plans to make these changes effective Tuesday, March 17, according to a statement by Sheriff Ron Freeman.
3:33 p.m.: The White House is recommending that older people and those with underlying health conditions “stay home and away from other people” as it continues to step up efforts to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The White House is laying out steps it is encouraging Americans to take as part of a campaign that it is calling, “15 days to slow the spread.”
Officials recommend that large swaths of the population isolate themselves and everyone avoid social gatherings or groups of more than 10 people.
They also want Americans to work from home if possible, avoid eating or drinking in bars and restaurants, and “avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.”
The White House is also advising governors in states with evidence of community transmission to close schools and says that states with evidence of community spread should close restaurants, bars, gyms, and other venues where people gather.
-- The Associated Press
2:02 p.m.: A relief fund has been set up by the North Georgia Community Foundation to help in the coronavirus health crisis.
Specifically, the fund “will make strategic grants to nonprofits in North Georgia who are impacted by and serving those who are affected by the coronavirus,” according to a press release from the organization on Monday, March 16.
1:54 p.m.: Chick-fil-A has closed dining areas in all of its restaurants nationwide as concern grows about COVID-19.
The Atlanta-based restaurant chain announced Monday morning that it was closing its indoor dining areas.
12:05 p.m.: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Georgia caused by the novel coronavirus is 121, according to the latest update from the Georgia Department of Public Health.
11:39 a.m.: 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 two confirmed cases in Hall County.March 15
8:15 p.m.: Northeast Georgia Health System was notified this morning that a patient has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at its Braselton hospital.
The hospital has yet to confirm where the positive COVID-19 patient is from.March 12
9:31 a.m.: Georgia's 31 cases are spread across the state, from Floyd County in northwest Georgia to Lowndes and Charlton counties near the Florida line, according to an update late Wednesday from Gov. Brian Kemp's office. Other cases are from Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Fayette, Fulton, Lee and Polk counties.
Some of the tests still await confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are 12 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia:
- Fulton County — 3
- Floyd County — 2
- Polk County — 1
- Cobb County — 2
- Bartow County — 3
- Lee County — 1
There are 19 presumed positive COVID-19 cases:
- Fulton County — 3
- Cobb County — 6
- Fayette County — 1
- DeKalb County — 4
- Gwinnett County — 2
- Cherokee County — 1
- Charlton County — 1
- Lowndes County — 1
A string of large events were canceled this week. Among them: Savannah's St. Patrick's Day parade, called off for the first time in nearly a century.March 11
5:27 p.m.: Gov. Brian Kemp announced he is requesting $100 million in state funds "to combat the spread of COVID-19."
Kemp sent a letter to Speaker of the House David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan requesting to draw the funds from the state's Revenue Shortfall Reserve (RSR), according to the governor's office.
"Ensuring that Georgia has the resources at hand to enable us to respond quickly and thoroughly to prevent its [COVID-19] spread within our borders is paramount to keeping our citizens safe, maintaining the health of our health network, and mitigating impact to our economy," Kemp said in a letter to Speaker of the House David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan. "...I do not make the recommendation to draw from this account lightly... However, the spread of the coronavirus represents an immediate and unforeseen threat to the state.
"...Our primary responsibility as state leaders must always be to ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens. To that end, I appreciate your consideration in appropriating these much-needed funds to ensure that Georgia stands at the ready to protect the health of our people."4:52 p.m.: The East Cobb News is reporting that the Cobb County School District is closing Kincaid Elementary School, in Marietta, for 14 days due to a positive case of coronavirus at the school.
9:09 a.m.: Some of the passengers from a cruise ship in California that carried people infected by the new coronavirus have arrived at an airbase in Georgia to begin a two-week quarantine, military official said.
The passengers arrived early Wednesday at the base in Cobb County, just northwest of Atlanta, Dobbins Air Reserve Base said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.
Base officials didn't specify the number of patients now on base, but they've said previously they were planning for dozens.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have full responsibility for all aspects of the quarantine, and Dobbins' personnel will have no contact with the passengers, the base's statement said. The passengers taken to Dobbins were screened before arrival, and none have been showing symptoms, it said.
The Grand Princess docked at the Port of Oakland on Monday after spending days off the California coast while quarantine plans were made. Test kits, flown to the ship by military helicopters and dropped on board, showed that 21 people had COVID-19.
For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover within weeks, according to the World Health Organization. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.”
In Georgia, 22 people have now tested positive for COVID-19, though some tests have yet to be confirmed by the CDC, Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement late Tuesday. The 22 cases are from Charlton, Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Fayette, Floyd, Fulton, and Polk counties.
Fulton County Schools, one of the nation's largest school districts, closed all schools for a second straight day Wednesday after a teacher who worked at two middle schools was found to have COVID-19. With about 93,000 students, Fulton County is the largest school district to close nationwide, according to data kept by Education Week.March 105:19 p.m.: A worker at a Georgia Waffle House tested positive for COVID-19, prompting co-workers to quarantine themselves in their homes, company officials said Tuesday.
No workers from the restaurant in Canton, northwest of Atlanta, have shown signs of illness, the company said in a statement.
The Canton Waffle House was temporarily closed beginning Monday, said Kelly Thrasher, a spokeswoman for the Norcross, Georgia-based company. She said the company plans to reopen the restaurant on Sunday. The infected employee worked only one day — on March 1 — during the past two weeks and hasn't since worked at any company restaurant. A total of 12 workers are self-quarantining at home through Saturday, Thrasher said, and are being paid for shifts they were scheduled to work.
Jennifer King, a spokeswoman for the North Georgia Health District, declined comment on the specifics of the Waffle House case, but said the state Department of Public Health is working to identify contacts people may have had while infectious.
Thrasher said Waffle House is more frequently sanitizing surfaces in its 1,500 restaurants nationwide and removing condiments from tables, making them available only on request.
At the Georgia Capitol, Republican House Speaker David Ralston on Tuesday announced that the House page program will be suspended and visitors to the House floor will be limited. Members of the public will also be encouraged to watch proceedings via livestream rather than attending in person. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said pages and guests will still be welcome in the state Senate, but he is watching the situation.
One of the state's largest school districts — Fulton County Schools — closed all its schools for at least one day on Tuesday after a teacher at two middle schools was found to have COVID-19. According to data kept by Education Week, Fulton County is the largest school district to close nationwide.
The KIPP charter school network in metro Atlanta also closed its schools Tuesday. A child care center in Acworth also closed after a worker tested positive, and Cobb County closed a library branch where a worker had contact with a child from the day care.
Two other Georgia school systems told parents that employees had gone into self-quarantine after potential contact.
In Paulding County, west of Atlanta, parents at McGarity Elementary in Hiram were warned Monday that an employee is in self-quarantine after contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Officials said they fumigated the school Sunday.
The Harris County school district, just north of Columbus, announced Tuesday that a middle school teacher had made contact with U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, who has self-quarantined because of potential exposure. Collins is seeking a U.S. Senate seat and visited Columbus on Saturday for a Republican Party headquarters opening.
State Superintendent Richard Woods said in a Tuesday statement that schools should follow recommendations of health officials. “At this time, school closures are not recommended for other areas,” Woods said.
Voting officials were also taking precautions. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said his office has sent guidance to counties about ongoing early voting for the state’s March 24 presidential primaries. The guidance includes wiping down voting machines and providing hand sanitizer to voters.March 9
9:40 p.m.: Five more presumptive cases of coronavirus in Georgia are awaiting “confirmatory testing” by the centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a news release from the Department of Public Health.
Two of the presumptive cases are in DeKalb County, and the other three cases are in Cobb, Fayette and Gwinnett counties.
All five individuals are hospitalized, according to the DPH, and the source of their infections aren’t known at this time.
There are six positive cases of COVID-19 that have been confirmed by the CDC:
- Fulton County — 3
- Cobb County — 1
- Floyd County — 1
- Polk County — 1
There are now 11 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Georgia:
- Cobb County — 3
- DeKalb County — 2
- Fulton County — 2
- Gwinnett County — 2
- Cherokee County — 1
- Fayette County — 1
3:59 p.m.: Rep. Doug Collins is in self-quarantine in Gainesville after discovering he took a photo with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
CPAC ran Feb. 26-29 in Washington, D.C. Collins said on Monday, March 9, that organizers of the conference had alerted him that they discovered a photo of him and the man who later tested positive for the virus.
“While I feel completely healthy and I am not experiencing any symptoms, I have decided to self-quarantine at my home for the remainder of the 14-day period out of an abundance of caution,” Collins said in the Monday announcement. “I will follow the recommendations of the House Physician and my office will provide updates as appropriate.”3:51 p.m.: Organizers with the 15th annual Sewa International USA Holi Festival have canceled this year's event due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.
The annual festival was scheduled for Sunday, March 15, at the Cumming Fairgrounds, but organizers announced the "difficult decision" late Friday, March 6.
"We are canceling the event to ensure the health and safety of our community, partner organizations, and volunteers who help us organize this event every year," the organization posted on Facebook. "We will keep you posted about our next event soon. Until then please stay safe."3:06 p.m.: Fulton County Schools planned for schools to be closed Tuesday, March 10, after public health officials said Monday that an employee has a confirmed case of coronavirus.
2:26 p.m.: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's press conference to provide an update on the coronavirus in Georgia has been pushed back to 4:45 p.m., according to the governor's office.
See original story below.
ATLANTA — Eleven Georgia residents have tested positive for the COVID-19, and five of those tests have been federally confirmed, the Georgia Department of Public Health said in a statement late Sunday.
The statement said the four new presumptive positive tests, in addition to two earlier, are awaiting confirmation by the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All of the new cases are from the greater Atlanta area.
Of those four new positive cases submitted to the CDC, one individual is from Fulton County, another from Cherokee County, and two more from Cobb County. The statement said none of the individuals are related and all have been hospitalized, with the sources of their infections unknown.
Confirmed cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus are three people in Fulton County, a fourth in Cobb County and a fifth in Polk County. The Polk County resident had previously been reported as from Floyd County, the department said.
Those from Fulton County include a 56-year-old man who had returned to Atlanta from Milan, Italy, on Feb. 22, and his son.
The 46-year-old Polk County woman had gone twice to a Georgia emergency center with flu-like symptoms in February but was originally turned down for testing because she hadn't traveled abroad or known of any contact with travelers from abroad.
Dozens of Americans on a cruise ship off the California coast are expected to arrive Monday night or Tuesday for quarantine and testing at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, officials said Sunday. They include 34 Georgia residents.
Gov. Brian Kemp is scheduled to give an update Monday, at 4:15 p.m., according to the governor's office.
Meanwhile, the state has designated Hard Labor Creek State Park, in Morgan County, as a location to "isolate and monitor patients" who may have been exposed to COVID-19, the governor's office said Monday.
No patients are currently scheduled to go to the location, but officials are preparing a section of the site with "emergency trailers and operations."
Brian Paglia contributed to this story.