County Executive Chairman Ted Rumley announced at Monday's daily 3 p.m. county briefing on COVID-19 that he had tested positive on the finger-prick test for coronavirus antibodies--and so had two of the other Dade County commissioners.
Rumley said he'd taken the $40 blood test offered by the Ready Clinic in LaFayette together with his wife, Diane, and both tests had come back positive. "They assured me that I was not contagious," said the county boss. Coronavirus antibodies in the blood signify that the body has come in contact with the virus and fought it off.
Rumley had suspected he'd had an early case of COVID-19 when he was unusually and persistently sick for three weeks in February. "They said it was probably just a virus" at the time, said Rumley. But he was experiencing "lung issues," said Rumley, which he never had before. "It was more like an emphysema-type thing that I had," he said.
District 1 and 4 commissioners Lamar Lowery and Allan Bradford also took the test, and both also tested positive, said Rumley. Phillip Hartline and Robert Goff of Districts 2 and 3, respectively, had not had the test yet but planned to, he said.
Rumley fielded a question from a viewer about the test's accuracy--don't some coronaviruses just cause the common cold?, the questioner asked. Rumley said as far as he knew the antibody test was for COVID-19.
Some authorities have questioned the accuracy of antibody tests. The Georgia Department of Health initially counted antibody tests in its Daily Status Report numbers as part of total state cases, later deciding to count only nasal swab test for active case, but not extracting the antibody tests from standing totals.
Speaking of those numbers, Dade is now up to 17 cases, minus 11 antibody-test case, and minus one death, so a total of five "active" cases though, Rumley added: "We're sure that some of those people are well."
Statewide, Georgia as of noon today is up to 33,927 cases and 1441 deaths, up from 32,126 cases and 1395 deaths when The Planet last reported on them on Friday. Numbers are updated twice daily, at noon and 7 p.m. Click the DPH logoto link to the current numbers.
"Of course with more testing throughout the state of Georgia we're going to get more cases," said Rumley. And with 54 residents participating last Thurday in the free DPH drive-through testing in Dade at the Four Fields, Rumley said, the Dade numbers will probably go up, too. He reminded all that there will be a second testing day this Thursday, May 14, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Four Fields. Testing is now open to all Georgians whether symptomatic or not, but if you'd like to take the test please call for a reservation: 1 (706) 802-5329.
Around Dade, Alabama counties were both up today, Jackson from 56 to 60 on Sunday, DeKalb 130 to 148.
Rumley answered one question about where to drop off absentee ballots for the upcoming primary election. Answer: The county has installed a drive-up weather-proof ballot box right outside the Adminstrative Building.
Another question was: When are the Georgia Driver's Services people coming back to test in Dade? The answer, alas, remains unknown, said Rumley. Georgia is still "up in the air" about allowing its personnel to venture out these days, he said.
No other Dade officials participated in today's briefing, but tomorrow should be a different story: Rumley reminded all of "Town Hall Tuesday." This Tuesday will feature information from the Dade County Sheriff's Office and the county tax assessor, he said.
"LIke" the Dade County Ga. Facebook page and you will be alerted when the county goes live. For the present, these briefings happen at 3 p.m. every weekday.