If buying toilet paper wards off COVID-19, Dade is now officially about as well prepared as anywhere else in America for the pandemic. Shelves at Food City in Trenton were getting pretty bare Thursday night, and the store had limited purchases to two packages per customer.
No coronavirus has so far been reported in Dade, though cases have sprung up as close as Atlanta and Rome. Georgia Department of Health spokesman Logan Boss says those who worry they may have symptoms--and these include fever over 100, a cough and difficulty breathing--should contact their primary health care provider by phone.
"Calling the health department is not going to help you in the situation," he said. "Our message is to contact your health care provider, whoever that might be."
The health department can't give you a test for the virus, said Boss; so far, testing is limited, and reserved for those judged most likely to have been exposed.
But Primary Health Care in Trenton, apparently, can test for COVID-19. PHC said it triages possible coronavirus patients by phone and in their cars--if you've really got it, PHC cannot chance you infecting other patients inside. If after screening there still appears to be a chance you're infected, PHC can administer the COVID-19 test. The PHC worker who spoke with The Planet, who identified herself only as Tameka, said the clinic has had the ability to test for coronavirus since shortly after the coronavirus cautions began here. She said it took three to five hours to get the results. No one has tested positive so far, she said.
The Planet could not reach the other primary health care facility in Trenton, CHI Memorial Family Practice, by phone today. But North Sand Mountain Primary Health Care, just the other side of the state line in Bryant, did answer its phone, It said it also had a procedure for triaging potential COVID-19 sufferers in their cars but did not so far have the ability to test for the virus. And the Alabama clinic also said it hadn't seen any cases yet.
So Dade is thus far untouched by the pandemic but has closed its schools for two weeks and canceled senior center and 4-H activities in what the national catch phrase would call "an abundance of caution." Furthermore, Dade Emergency Services announced today it has joined Emergency Management Agencies (EMAs) from Catoosa, Walker and Whitfield counties in a joint task force to help Northwest Georgia communities manage and mitigate the pandemic.The Northwest Georgia COVID-19 Task Force consists of community leaders from city and county governments, school systems, health departments and emergency response agencies.
The Georgia Department of Public Health has created an informational Power Point presentation about COVID-19 that gives critical information about how it is spread, how to reduce your risk of infection, and other general information. Download the presentation at the Georgia DPH website (https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus) and learn more about precautions you can take now to protect yourself, your business, and your community.
For accurate and reliable information about COVID-19 log onto https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019ncov/index.html.