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Pike has five confirmed COVID-19 cases

Pike County now has five confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. The first case was confirmed on March 28, the second was confirmed on Sunday, March 29 and the third case was confirmed April 3. All residents of Georgia have been asked to ‘shelter in place,’ remaining at home as much as possible after Gov. Kemp issued an executive order April 2. According to Pike EMA director Jimmy Totten, citizens should continue to follow recommendations to stay at home as often as possible and limit contact with others during this time. ’We knew this day would happen, and we know we will have more citizens test positive for COVID-19. My recommendations at this time, are that we continue following what the governor has laid out in his emergency declaration, we continue to make sure our citizens and organizations comply with this and we continue to educate our citizens on how to stay safe during this time based on what the CDC and Public Health have instructed,’ said Totten. He noted that labs are inundated right now and results from COVID-19 testing can take up to 10 days to be reported. There are now a total of 2,809 cases confirmed in Georgia and a total of 87 deaths from the disease in the state as of press time Monday afternoon. Nationally, 122,653 cases have been confirmed and 2,112 lives have been claimed. Pike commissioners have discussed how local citizens are handling the pandemic and have decided not to enforce additional local orders. ’We’d like to thank the residents of Pike County for adhering to the guidelines set forth by Gov. Kemp as we seek to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Because citizens are exercising our own extreme measures to help flatten the curve, commissioners and other county leaders do not see the need to impose a curfew or shelter in place restriction at this time,’ said commission chairman Briar Johnson. ‘Thank you for all you are doing during these days of social distancing. Our sacrifices today will help us resume our normal routines as quickly and safely as possible.’ Local medical offices and all other offices are limiting contact and not allowing patients to sit together in the waiting rooms. The Family Health Clinic is now offering virtual visits for minor concerns and patients are either taken directly to a disinfected exam room or asked to wait in their vehicles until an exam room is available. Local schools will remain closed until April 24 after Gov. Brian Kemp ordered all kindergarten through twelfth grade campuses be closed until April 27, assuming his order is not extended. ’We are committed to returning to normal operations as soon as it is safe to do so. I recognize, especially for our seniors, that spring semester provides many once in a lifetime experiences and memories that last a lifetime. We will do our very best to make them happen. As for a timeline or specifics, it is simply too early to tell,’ said superintendent Dr. Michael Duncan. ‘Our priority will remain the safety of the students and staff.’ Pike schools are providing weekly packets for students to complete during their break from the classroom. In addition to schools, Georgia bars have been shut down and Gov. Kemp said social distancing will be enforced at the state’s parks and lakes. ’We, too, enjoy exploring Georgia, but we urge people to stay mindful of social distancing, follow best practices, and avoid large crowds,’ said Gov. Kemp. ‘The Department of Natural Resources will enforce the executive order limiting large gatherings with officials patrolling bodies of water and campgrounds.’

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