NORTH GEORGIA HEALTH DISTRICT

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    NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Omicron Variant web banner
 

Download this pdf file. Omicron Variant Detected in Georgia Resident

North Georgia Health District officials continue to urge all residents age 5 and older to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including the primary series, 3rd shots and boosters; to get tested if experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19; and, to follow the CDC recommendations, as mentioned in the (DPH) press release. COVID-19 vaccine is available with no need for an appointment during clinic hours at our health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties, and free COVID-19 testing (PCR) is available in our health district through MAKO Medical. Please find on our website details for COVID-19 vaccine and testing offered by public health in North Georgia or go to dph.ga.gov to find all locations where the vaccine and testing are available in Georgia.

 
UPDATE
December 5, 2021
 

Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed the first case of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant in GeorgiaThe individual recently traveled from South Africa and developed mild symptoms and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Genomic sequencing confirmed the presence of the Omicron variant. The individual is isolating at home and contact tracing is underway to identify close contacts at risk of infection. This is the first identified in-state case of Omicron. DPH was notified Dec. 3 of a Georgia resident currently in New Jersey who tested positive for the Omicron variant. 

Scientists continue to study the Omicron variant to determine how quickly and easily it spreads, whether it causes more severe illness and how well the current COVID vaccines protect against it.


NEWS RELEASE                         
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                     
December 3, 2021                                                                                                 
 
Omicron Variant Detected in Georgia Resident
New Variant Reinforces the Need for Vaccination and Testing
 

Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has been notified of a Georgia resident currently in New Jersey who has tested positive for COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. The individual recently traveled from South Africa and was in Georgia for two days before traveling on to New Jersey where the testing and sequencing were done.

The individual is fully vaccinated,  and is isolating in New Jersey. Contact tracing is underway there and in Georgia to identify close contacts at risk of infection. So far, no additional Omicron cases in Georgia have been identified.

“Vaccination and boosters are key to preventing further transmission of COVID-19 and help prevent new variants like Omicron from emerging,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Only 51% of Georgians are fully vaccinated and of those individuals less than 20% have received booster doses.”

Studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with variants may decrease over time. Early data from South Africa suggest increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant, and scientists in the United States and around the world are urgently examining vaccine effectiveness related to this variant. 

All Georgians over the age of 5 are now eligible for COVID vaccination. Booster doses of vaccine are recommended for adults 18 and older who completed their first series of vaccine at least six months ago. The CDC also recommends general prevention measures such as wearing a mask in public settings, staying 6 feet from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and frequently washing your hands to protect against COVID-19.

Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to someone with COVID should get tested.

To find a COVID vaccine or COVID testing location near you log on to dph.ga.gov.

DPH will continue to monitor Omicron developments and provide updates as new information becomes available.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.

Nancy Nydam
Director of Communications
Georgia Department of Public Health
2 Peachtree Street, N.E., 15th Floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
(404) 657-2462
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Winter Weather Preparedness Week web

Winter Weather Preparedness Week

In conjunction with the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, and along with many of our core partners, December 6-10 is recognized as Winter Weather Preparedness Week this year in Georgia. 

Each day will be focused on a specific winter weather-related topic:

Monday, Dec. 6: Winter Weather in Georgia   -- learn about various winter weather hazards that can impact the state of Georgia

Tuesday, Dec. 7: Winter Weather Terminology  -- learn about winter weather "alerts" (watches, warnings and advisories) and what they all mean

Wednesday, Dec. 8: Winter Weather Preparation Tips   -- learn how to best prepare for winter weather events, and put together a "Ready Kit" while making a plan before winter weather strikes

Thursday, Dec. 9: Winter Weather Driving Tips/Safety  -- learn "best practices" for driving (if necessary) in winter weather conditions and how to pack a mobile "Ready Kit"

Friday, Dec. 10: Winter Weather Outlook for 2021-22 season

Click here to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency website to learn more. 

WAD Rock the Ribbon T Shirt Reminder web

 North Georgia Health District Staff showed Support to Those Living with HIV on World AIDS Day!

See our album below that shows how North Georgia Health District Rocked the Ribbon today for World AIDS Day to show our support for those living with HIV and in memory of those who have died due to the virus.

Plus, FREE HIV testing was offered on World AIDS Day at all public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties and at The Living Bridge Center locations in Dalton and Canton. Free testing continues at all locations.

You, too, can remember those who have lost their lives to HIV... do your part to reduce stigma, learn more about HIV prevention strategies, walk or run a 5K, plant a tree, make a donation, and share your plans and pictures on social media using hashtag #TLBCWAD2021 or #TLBCRockTheRibbon.

Go here on our website for more information at https://www.nghd.org/tlbc-about-us.

To order a free HIV self-test kit, go to https://www.gacapus.com and click on the red triangle.

Let’s keep on Rocking the Ribbon!the living bridge center cropped2021 WAD T Shirt Logo web

Check out our album of North Georgia Health District staff Rocking the Ribbon on World AIDS Day! 

WAD 2021 Album

WAD 2021 Album 2

CDC Banner

 

 

CDC NEWSROOM ARTICLE 

Per the following CDC press release dated Wednesday, December 1, 2021, please know that although no cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant have been reported yet in Georgia, the North Georgia Health District is:

  • Continuing to urge residents ages 5 and up to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including 3rd shots and boosters – COVID-19 vaccine is available for free and without need of an appointment at all our health departments during clinic hours in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties - please click HERE for details.
  • Encouraging COVID-19 testing for anyone who has any symptoms or believes they may have been exposed to the virus. MAKO Medical Services has collaborated with public health to operate Free COVID-19 PCR Testing in all our counties - please click HERE.
  • Reminding residents to continue following the CDC recommendations to protect against the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and wearing a mask in public, as appropriate - please link HERE to the CDC website

Media Statement

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Contact: CDC Media Relations (404) 639-3286

First confirmed case of Omicron variant detected in the United States

The California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health have confirmed that a recent case of COVID-19 among an individual in California was caused by the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529). The individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on November 22, 2021. The individual, who was fully vaccinated and had mild symptoms that are improving, is self-quarantining and has been since testing positive. All close contacts have been contacted and have tested negative.

Genomic sequencing was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco and the sequence was confirmed at CDC as being consistent with the Omicron variant. This will be the first confirmed case of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant detected in the United States. 

On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified a new variant, B.1.1.529, as a Variant of Concern and named it Omicron and on November 30, 2021, the United States also classified it as a Variant of Concern. CDC has been actively monitoring and preparing for this variant, and we will continue to work diligently with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners to learn more. Despite the detection of Omicron, Delta remains the predominant strain in the United States.

The recent emergence of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and general prevention strategies needed to protect against COVID-19. Everyone 5 and older should get vaccinated boosters are recommended for everyone 18 years and older.  

For more information on the Omicron variant visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/index.html.  

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