Dr. Gary Voccio, Health Director of the Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District, states that he is supportive of local school systems’ decision to soon return to in-person instruction.
The health department is ready to assist the schools in their decision-making processes regarding coronavirus, indicates Dr. Voccio, who anticipates that a return to the classroom could have a positive psycological impact on students who are ready to be back in school.
School systems around this district are taking extraordinary steps to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, asserts Dr. Voccio. If cases start to arise at schools, he says that the health department is poised to provide assistance.
Floyd County is fortunate in that its death rate related to the coronavirus has remained very stable over the last couple of months, though that has not been the case for Northwest Georgia as a whole, says Dr. Voccio. Hospitalizations have been into the double digits for Rome in recent days.
The majority of the increase in deaths around Northwest Georgia have been at long-term care facilities and not at hospitals, adds Dr. Voccio.
COVID-19 is on the rise among younger individuals, states Dr. Voccio. The previous average age of a patient in Floyd County was 55 around six weeks ago; now, it is 40.