Chatham County sees first 2 COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Two Chatham County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday evening.

According to St. Joseph’s/Candler spokesman Scott Larson, a female patient at Candler Hospital has tested positive for the new virus.

The Coastal Health District reported Friday that a Chatham County resident, who is currently isolated at home, tested positive as well.

“Coastal Health District epidemiologists are gathering more information which can be used to notify others who may have had close contact with the individual,” officials stated.

In total, five confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now been reported in the Coastal Health District:

  • 2 Glynn County residents
  • 1 Effingham County resident
  • 2 Chatham County residents

Memorial Health officials confirmed Thursday evening they were treating the Effingham County resident.

Dr. Maulik A. Patel, an adult care physician at Memorial Health, says not to focus too heavily on the numbers. A majority of people have not been tested, which means there are likely more cases of COVID-19 in the Coastal Health District.

Patel says social distancing is the best way to protect yourself against people who have the virus but are not showing symptoms. Other than that, his best advice is to act like you already have the virus.

“If our entire communities take these precautions seriously and help us, then we’ll fare much better,” he said.

Patel says Memorial Health is like hospitals throughout the country: it cannot handle a pandemic. That is why he says it is extremely important for people to take the proper precautions.

For now, though, he says Memorial Health is fully stocked and operational.

“Looking at our community and the trends we’re seeing, we feel very prepared for what we have to deal with,” said Patel.

Memorial Health says more people are visiting the hospital, but most do not need a COVID-19 test. People who were pre-approved for a COVID-19 test went to a drive-through testing site Friday near the Coastal Health District. Doctors are telling people with mild symptoms to stay home.

“I’m seeing more people come in who are concerned about their allergies, about other viral illnesses,” said Patel. “They’re worried about what’s going on. So compared to normal, we’re seeing more of those individuals come.”

If you experience uncontrollable fevers, trouble breathing or other symptoms that do not go away, Patel says to visit your doctor or go to the emergency room.

For now, Patel suggests putting off regular check-ups, so that the hospital does not get overwhelmed. He says doctors are being ‘judicious’ with which patients they serve. They are still helping people with serious illnesses or injuries that are not related to coronavirus.

Patel says Memorial Health is continuously working on getting more tests. But he says you should not focus on what the tests can do for you. Instead, you should focus on what you can do to stop the spread.

“We’re really focusing on the guidance of what to do now, so we can protect ourselves, protect our communities, and protect against this surging need we may have in our health facilities,” he said.

As of Friday evening, the Georgia Department of Public Health reports at least 485 coronavirus cases and 14 deaths. Read more here.

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