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Portion of Ga. state park being prepared for COVID-19 patient isolation

Governor Brian Kemp during March 5 press conference, declaring a State of Emergency
Governor Brian Kemp during March 5 press conference, declaring a State of Emergency(WALB)
Updated: Mar. 9, 2020 at 6:18 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (WTOC) - Georgia leadership and health officials are continuing to update the public on COVID-19 and the state’s preparations.

A news conference was held just after 4:45 p.m. on Monday to provide an update on recent developments.

Gov. Kemp announced that there are six confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 presumptive positive cases in the state.

  • Fulton County: 2
  • Cobb County: 3
  • Fayette County: 1
  • DeKalb County: 2
  • Gwinnett County: 2
  • Cherokee County: 1

A state park in Morgan County, Ga. has been identified as a location to monitor and isolate coronavirus patients if needed.

The governor and the departments of public health, public safety, and natural resources made the decision to prepare the site in case it is ever needed. Officials have already delivered and installed seven emergency trailers at the park, and related materials are en route for future use. Once established, the Department of Public Safety will provide security for this location.

Officials are utilizing an isolated section of Hard Labor Creek State Park where emergency trailers and operations will be separated from the rest of the property. To prevent the disruption of ongoing operations, access to this specific part of Hard Labor Creek State Park is strictly limited to official use.

Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King issued a directive to insurance companies about COVID-19 testing.

“Now that there have been confirmed cases of coronavirus in Georgia, it is essential that we are doing everything we can to remove any potential barriers to care for our citizens,” said Commissioner King in a news release. “The Directive we issued this morning is meant to ensure that no Georgian is denied access to testing or treatment for this disease.”

The Directive calls on insurers to waive cost-sharing for in-network provider office, urgent care center, or emergency room visits when testing for COVID-19, particularly for those individuals with high deductible plans.

It instructs insurers to verify their provider networks are adequate to handle a potential increase in volume of COVID-19 cases and calls on them to provide access to out-of-network providers at an in-network rate if they are not.

You can read the full Directive HERE.

An interactive map created by John Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) shows up to date information on cases and deaths related to the COVID-19 outbreak:

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