The following press release was issued by the Georgia Department of Public Health on February 11, 2020:
Under the supervision of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), about 200 individuals who have recently returned from China are self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). These travelers arrived in the U.S. from mainland China outside Hubei Province with no known high-risk exposure. These individuals are asymptomatic (no symptoms) and are self-isolating at home.
DPH receives a list every day from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with the names of Georgia travelers coming from China. DPH epidemiologists contact the individuals by phone to establish a plan for self-monitoring and provide instructions on how to contact DPH before seeking health care if they develop fever, cough or shortness of breath. There are no Georgia travelers who have returned from Wuhan or Hubei Province requiring quarantine.
To slow the potential spread of COVID-19 to the United States, on January 31, President Trump issued a federal proclamation that included a travel ban for non-U.S. citizens entering the country from China and funneling flights from China to one of 11 airports in the U.S., including Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.
In addition, the proclamation requires mandatory 14-day quarantine for returning travelers who have been in the Hubei Province (high risk) and 14 days of supervised self-monitoring for returning travelers from anywhere else in China (medium risk).
The CDC says the overall risk of coronavirus to the general public is low, but the best way to prevent infection of any respiratory virus is:
- Wash your hands often with soap and 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.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Flu is still widespread and active in Georgia. The best prevention against the flu is vaccination – it’s not too late to get a flu shot.