Coronavirus has prompted the temporary closure of an Acworth child care center and the West Cobb Library, county and state officials confirmed.
A teacher of Childcare Network at 4833 Baker Grove Road in Acworth “tested positive” for coronavirus, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning stated after being notified of the case Monday. As a result, the Acworth center was closed Tuesday and Wednesday for deep cleaning while those in charge planned how to proceed.
A worker at the West Cobb Library, near Kennesaw and Acworth, was sent home as a precaution after discovering they might have been exposed to a person with coronavirus, the county said, adding the library was closed Tuesday for deep cleaning until further notice.
“We do not know how long that cleaning will take,” Cobb Communications Director Ross Cavitt said Tuesday. “The worker has not been diagnosed with the virus but under an abundance of caution the worker was sent home and a cleaning company has been contracted to work on the facility.”
The latest update from Gov. Brian Kemp confirmed six Georgians have coronavirus, including one Cobb resident, and another 11 people in the state are presumed to have it, including three Cobb residents.
“The individuals are hospitalized, and the sources of their infections are unknown,” Kemp said of the presumptive cases awaiting confirmation.
The Acworth early childhood teacher is believed to be one of the three Cobb residents thought to have coronavirus, after a presumptive test was positive.
The Cobb resident confirmed to have the virus is isolated at home, having recently returned from Italy, the governor said.
Kemp maintains there’s no need for Georgians, or Americans in general, to panic about the virus.
AcworthGeorgia Department of Early Care and Learning Commissioner Amy Jacobs said Childcare Network followed correct procedure in responding to news a teacher probably has the virus, “by immediately contacting their local health department, who alerted the Georgia Department of Public Health, and notifying all parents of the situation on Monday.
“The decision to close this facility is a decision entirely up to the child care provider, and not mandated by DECAL or the Georgia Department of Public Health, which is currently in its exposure investigation phase working with all children and families affected,” Jacobs said.
West CobbThe county canceled a public event due to be held at the West Cobb Library, on Dennis Kemp Lane near the intersection of Stilesboro and Mars Hill roads, due to the coronavirus scare.
The meeting scheduled for Wednesday night was one of the county’s many town halls on the possible next Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
“In addition, county staff has been enacting pro-active cleaning and sanitizing measures at other county facilities and the county has established a task force to deal with other issues surrounding this virus and its effect on county operations,” Cavitt stated.
MariettaThe first of two planes carrying 250 people would arrive at Dobbins Air Reserve Base on Tuesday night, the county announced that evening. The majority will be quarantined at the base for two weeks.
The people have spent the past several weeks aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship. Twenty-one people aboard the ship tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
“Most will serve out their 14-day quarantine period on the base, while some who live nearby may be allowed to self-quarantine at home,” according to a news release issued by the county. “Some of the passengers on the Grand Princess came down with the COVID-19 virus, but the passengers coming to Dobbins have not displayed symptoms nor tested positive for the virus.”
Coronavirus and how it’s being handled in the county was discussed at the Cobb Board of Commissioners meeting in Marietta on Tuesday morning.
“They’ll be in a containment area, they’ll be completely sealed off from anybody except for appropriate designated personnel,” County Chairman Mike Boyce said of those who will stay at Dobbins.
He said the quarantine will be handled by the state department of health and human services.
“We’re working real hard right now to get HHS to have a communications team come out and start speaking to the public to tell you what’s going on inside this containment area,” Boyce said, urging people with questions to contact the county. “We have the answers but we can’t possibly touch everybody out there, so we really want to emphasize, please Cobb give us a call if you have any concerns about this. If we don’t have the answer right away, we’ll get you the answer and get back to you.”
AdviceSo far coronavirus has only been deadly to elderly people, predominantly those with underlying health issues and/or a weak immune system, according to federal and state health officials.
The state department of early care and learning encouraged providers Monday to “stay alert” for signs of illness in children, and for all residents to use best prevention practices.
“According to the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health, coronavirus outbreaks in young children are uncommon and severe symptoms are rare in children,” the education department said. “At DECAL, our top priority is the health and safety of our state’s young learners.”
Advice from the CDC and Georgia public health department about how to avoid getting coronavirus or spreading it is the same as that given in respect of the regular flu. People are urged to regularly wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, keep commonly used surfaces and objects clean and sanitized, and avoid sick people. Those who are ill should stay at home, cough or sneeze into a tissue and then immediately throw the tissue away, and call ahead before visiting a doctor’s clinic or hospital.
Georgia’s confirmed coronavirus cases (6)♦ Fulton County: 3
♦ Cobb County: 1
♦ Floyd County: 1
♦ Polk County: 1
Georgia’s presumptive positive cases (11)♦ Cobb County: 3
♦ Fulton County: 2
♦ Fayette County: 1
♦ DeKalb County: 2
♦ Gwinnett County: 2
♦ Cherokee County: 1
Basic prevention measures♦ Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
♦ If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
♦ Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
♦ Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
♦ Stay home when you are sick.
♦ Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
♦ Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
♦ If you have recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of coronavirus and you develop fever with cough and shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have coronavirus, stay home and call your healthcare provider or local health department right away. Be sure to call before going to a doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care center and tell them about your recent travel and symptoms.
— MDJ reporter Aleks Gilbert contributed to this report.