COVID–19 Variant Appears In Atlanta Area

By REBECCA HAZEN
News Editor

Public Information Officer Carey Anderson notified the community that the COVID-19 variant has been found in Georgia, during the county’s weekly update on Feb. 4.

Anderson read a Georgia Department of Public Health press release, detailing more information.

The press release reads: “The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is confirming there are now 19 cases of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 identified in Georgia. This is the same variant discovered in the U.K. and in several other countries and U.S. states. So far, no other COVID-19 variants have been identified in Georgia.

The B.1.1.7 cases in Georgia are in individuals age 15 to 61, eight males and 11 females. The cases live in metro Atlanta – Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Paulding counties. DPH is working to identify close contacts of the individuals, and will monitor them closely.

“‘The CDC has said this U.K. variant is likely to be the dominant strain in the U.S. by sometime in March,’ said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner, Georgia Department of Public Health. ‘We must ensure we are taking every precaution right now to prevent transmission of COVID and to avoid a surge in hospitalizations and loss of life.’”

County Executive Ted Rumley reported that Commissioner Allan Bradford has tested positive for COVID-19.

“We are following strictly our COVID-19 rules here, more now than ever,” Rumley said. “Be careful out there.”

Rumley also noted that work on County Road 6 is on schedule and is expected to finish either by the end of February or beginning of March, weather dependent.

The unemployment rate for Dade County is currently 3.5 %. Walker County is at 3.9 percent and Chattooga is at 6.4 percent.

The election to vote on the continuation of E-SPLOST will be Tuesday, March 16. There will be an early voting period at the administration building.

Rumley also said that the Dade County Sheriff’s Office lobby is still closed for the foreseeable future.

The COVID-19 vaccine is currently available for people ages 65 and above, and their caregivers. According to Rumley, about 50 percent of the 65 and older age group in Dade County have already gotten the vaccine.

Dade County has seen 76 cases in the past two weeks, for a total of 1,005 COVID-19 cases. The number of cases can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.

The Dade County weekly update is broadcast live on Facebook on Thursdays at 3 p.m.

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