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Don’t panic over coronavirus, says EMS’ Edwards

Crisp County EMS Director David Edwards told members of the Crisp County Board of Commissioners that his agency, in concert with experts at Crisp Regional Hospital, are being proactive when it comes to COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus.

State officials announced earlier this week that the Fulton County School System will close temporarily after an employee tested positive for the disease, but Edwards said people who live in Crisp County shouldn’t panic.

“The number one message is to simply remain calm and wash your hands,” Edwards said at Tuesday’s meeting of the county commission.

Edwards told commissioners that EMS and Crisp Regional officials meet daily and monitor new information as it becomes available and plan accordingly. If the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to spread, residents may see EMS first responders respond to a call while wearing gear designed to protect them from communicable diseases.

“You might see EMS wearing protective equipment on some calls,” Edwards said. “It is not to incite fear but out of an abundance of caution to keep our staff protected.”

Commissioner Larry Felton asked Edwards if local healthcare providers would treat COVID-19 patients without the public’s knowledge.

“This is a disease that is mandatorily reported,” he replied. “They would have to report it.”

Edwards also stressed that people can avoid misinformation about COVID-19 by getting accurate information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the Georgia Department of Public Health.