WHITE COUNTY, Ga. – According the Georgia Department of Public Health, (DPH) as of noon today (March 30) White County had only one confirmed case of COVID-19 but Public Safety Director David Murphy said he believes there are more.
The DPH reported 2,809 confirmed cases in the state of Georgia today with 87 deaths. During the Board of Commissioners called teleconference meeting this morning, Murphy said, he believes some cases have not been reported.
“Some people take care of themselves at home and never go to a doctor, especially those who have minor symptoms,” he explained. Murphy added that White County first responders have encountered a dozen or more patients with coronavirus symptoms in the last two weeks.
All first responders have been tested for the virus and, so far, none have tested positive or even shown any symptoms. Murphy said they are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) on all calls and that 911 dispatch asks a set of pre-determined questions to determine if a patient has coronavirus-like symptoms.
Murphy also said the county is having issues with people not obeying the order to stay at home. The Forest Service closed the national forests last week and county commissioners adopted a resolution declaring a state of emergency in White County. The resolution states, “Yonah Preserve and all White County-owned recreation facilities shall be closed for business.” The state of emergency extends through April 13.
But Murphy and Sheriff Neal Walden said a large number of people from Atlanta are coming to the Yonah Mountain trailhead anyway. “They ignore the signs and park on the side of the road,” Murphy said. Someone pried open the gate at the trailhead over the weekend.” No damage was done, but the gate has now been chained.
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