FLOYD COUNTY, Ga. — Gov. Brian Kemp's office announced Saturday morning that a patient in Floyd County has been confirmed to have coronavirus.
That particular patient had previously been "preliminarily tested positive" for the COVID-19 variety of coronavirus and hospitalized at Floyd Medical Center.
According to officials, the 46-year-old woman, who had been treated at the Floyd Medical Center's emergency care center had flu-like symptoms on Feb. 29.
The patient had been screened according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health. the patient was treated and released. The patient did not meet the criteria at that time to be tested for the coronavirus.
On Tuesday, the patient returned to the emergency care center with worsening symptoms.
"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 hospital wrote.
Following the urging of the District Health Director and the state department of health, the patient was tested for COVID-19 - and the preliminary test came back positive.
Floyd Medical Center spokesperson Daniel Bevels said that 20 hospital employees who were exposed to the woman - some of them only for a short time - have been placed on a precautionary self-quarantine from the time they made contact with the patient.
According to Bevels, the employees will remain on the quarantine for the required 14 days but will be paid during that time.
During that time, they'll be tasked with monitoring their temperatures and other conditions and letting the hospital know if something changes.
"We are trained for this," Bevels said. "We conduct training exercises every day and did so long before this happened."
Bevels said safety is a top priority for Floyd Medical Center. He also said the original patient is still being kept in isolation.
Although the risk of exposure is low, the medical center has also proactively notified all patients who may have had contact with any caregiver who made contact with the original patient or who may have been in the emergency room at the time the patient was present.
If the final tests come back positive, the Floyd County patient will become the third confirmed case of coronavirus in the state.