March 6, 2020 Update

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Dear Berry community:

We have just received information regarding a probable confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus in Floyd County. To our knowledge, this individual is not member of the Berry College community. Here is the notice provided by Floyd Medical Center.

BREAKING: Floyd Statement Regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 Exposure

03.06.2020

Late Thursday evening (3/5/20) Floyd received notification from Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) that a patient in our hospital has preliminarily tested positive for Coronavirus COVID-19. 

A 46-year-old female presented to Floyd’s Emergency Care Center with flu-like symptoms on the afternoon of Saturday, February 29, 2020.  The patient was screened according to CDC and GDPH screening guidelines and was subsequently treated and released. She did not meet the testing criteria for COVID-19 or warrant hospitalization. 

The patient returned to Floyd’s Emergency Care Center on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 with worsening symptoms. Further tests were completed, GDPH 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. 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. 

While we await final confirmation, Floyd has been advised by GDPH to notify caregivers who treated this patient prior to isolation on Tuesday. In addition, although the risk of exposure is low, Floyd has made the decision to proactively notify all patients who may have had contact with any of these caregivers or who may have been in the ER at the time the patient was present in order to instruct them on next steps and address concerns. 
 
The public can be assured that it is safe to seek care at Floyd. We have the facilities and the expertise to care for those patients while protecting the safety of all of our patients, visitors and employees.  Floyd has negative pressure isolation rooms with specialized ventilation systems. Our staff participates in drills and training routinely to maintain a state of continual readiness, and our caregivers use personal protective equipment when caring for any patient suspected of having an infectious disease.

Now that COVID-19 has spread to our area, it is important for all of us take to heart the precautions that are presented on Berry’s COVID-19 webpage and the links provided by the CDC.

https://www.berry.edu/healthupdates

IMPORTANT - If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 please contact your health care provider immediately. It is also critical that you avoid contact with other people until advised otherwise by your health care provider.

      • Students: Contact Student Health right away: 706-236-2267
      • Faculty and Staff: Contact your primary care physician via telephone.
      • We request that you self-isolate pending further instructions from medical professionals.

Steve Briggs

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