A Floyd County hospital says a woman patient has tested positive for the new coronavirus.
If the initial test results are confirmed by the CDC, she would become the third patient with the disease in Georgia.
The case — if it’s a confirmed positive test — illustrates the problem of lags in diagnostic testing for coronavirus, called COVID-19. The virus has led to 12 deaths in the U.S. and has sickened more than 200 others.
Floyd Medical Center said in a press release Friday that a 46-year-old female presented to Floyd’s Emergency Care Center with flu-like symptoms on the afternoon of Saturday, February 29.
“The patient was screened according to CDC and [Public Health] screening guidelines and was subsequently treated and released. She did not meet the testing criteria for COVID-19 or warrant hospitalization,” the hospital statement said.
The woman returned to Floyd’s Emergency Care Center on Tuesday with worsening symptoms. “Further tests were completed, [Public Health] was notified and subsequently authorized her release. Despite the patient, again, not meeting COVID-19 screening criteria, Floyd clinicians made the determination to admit her to the hospital due to her condition.”
“The patient was placed in isolation and further screening was conducted,” the hospital said. “At the adamant urging of the attending physician and District Health Director Dr. Gary Voccio, CDC and GDPH authorized COVID-19 testing for the patient. The preliminary test result was deemed positive. Additional confirmatory testing is being performed and results from CDC are anticipated in the coming days.”
A Floyd Medical spokesman said Friday that 20 employees have been placed on self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the date of exposure to the patient.
Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement Friday morning that the CDC has not confirmed initial test results for this patient.
Department of Public Health officials have requested expedited processing for an official determination, Kemp said. “To prevent the spread of incomplete or inaccurate information, we encourage Georgians to rely on guidance from the CDC, the DPH, and my office. We will continue to provide regular updates to keep the public informed and ensure the health and safety of families across our state.”
Public Health is working to identify any contacts who may have been exposed while the Georgia individuals with COVID-19 were infectious.