The Floyd County Commission gathered via Zoom on Tuesday evening in a meeting that was streamed live via Facebook. Dr. Gary Voccio, the Director of the Georgia Department of Public Health, Northwest Health District, was on hand (virtually) to give a coronavirus update.

This area could be experiencing a slight flattening of the curve, indicated Dr. Voccio. He added that the peak in coronavirus cases locally is anticipated in the next two weeks.

Dr. Voccio asserted that free testing is now available to Northwest Georgians with symptoms of COVID-19 like a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath. Healthcare workers, first responders, and other critical infrastructure workers without symptoms that have been exposed to the virus may also be tested, as well as residents of a long-term care facility or similar group residence which has experienced an outbreak. Appointments are required in advance and may be made by calling (706) 802-5329.

Testing is being expanded at sites in both Floyd and Bartow Counties, stated Dr. Voccio. An additional 500 tests are expected to arrive by today. The turn around time for these tests will be 24 hours.

Commissioner Allison Watters asked Dr. Voccio the million dollar question – what will the transition back into ‘normal life’ look like once we have gotten past the peak and flattened the curve in coronavirus cases? Dr. Voccio stated that it will be a gradual process. This slow release must first be approved by the Governor. Testing will be key in that decision-making process.

Dr. Voccio added that the Georgia Army National Guard has pitched in their assistance with the testing, as well as with the clean up at local assisted living facilities.

Commission Chair Scotty Hancock also gave an update pertaining to county policies during the COVID-19 pandemic at the virtual meeting. The meeting (again) went live and may still be viewed via Facebook; search for the Floyd County, GA – Government page.