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A difference in the reporting of COVID-19 related deaths between the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Department of Community Health (DCH) presents good news and bad news for Butts County this week.

As of 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19, DPH is reporting that Butts County has 199 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the reports began in April, 16 deaths, and 21 people hospitalized. The 16 deaths indicates a slightly lower than flat line in deaths over the last three weeks. Both the May 5 and May 12 reports had deaths at 17 people.

Meanwhile the Monday, May 18 report from the DCH has Westbury Medical Care and Rehab with 122 of the 126 residents having tested positive for COVID-19, 36 staff having tested positive, and 29 deaths, up 5 from last week.

The difference between the reports is because DPH waits to add deaths until they have been confirmed as COVID-19 related, and DCH reports the death of any Westbury resident who tested positive.

“If they had it and recovered from it, and then passed away, they may not be counted as a COVID-19 death under DPH,” said Hayla Folden, DPH District IV Public Information Officer. “That tends to impact the numbers. If somebody tests positive, it is required by law that Public Health be notified,” she continued. But then if they pass away, there is no requirement that we get notified. So there may be a lag time in us getting that death notification.”

In Georgia, as of 1 p.m. on May 19, there have been a total of 378,156 tests completed, with 38,721 confirmed cases, 7,027 hospitalizations, 1,589 patients in intensive care, and 1,664 deaths.

In the eight-county area surrounding and including Butts County, there have been a total of 1,535 confirmed cases, 67 deaths, and 238 hospitalizations as of 1 p.m on May 19. Here are the counts:

♦ Henry: 629 confirmed, 19 deaths, 85 hospitalizations

♦ Newton: 265 confirmed, 10 deaths, 59 hospitalizations

♦ Spalding: 243 confirmed, 14 deaths, 44 hospitalizations

♦ Butts: 199 confirmed, 16 deaths, 21 hospitalizations

♦ Lamar: 42 confirmed, 1 death, 7 hospitalizations

♦ Monroe: 100 confirmed, 7 deaths, 14 hospitalizations

♦ Jones: 31 confirmed, 0 deaths, 4 hospitalizations

♦ Jasper: 26 confirmed, 0 deaths, 4 hospitalizations

A total of 66 active testing sites are now up and running around Georgia. The closest testing sites to Butts County are:

♦ Heritage Senior Center, 1050 Florence McGarity Blvd., McDonough, Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

To receive a test at this facility, please contact your medical provider or local public health officials for a referral: District 4 LaGrange Health District: 1, 800-847-4262

♦ Jasper County Health Department, 825 Eatonton St., Monticello, Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-12 p.m

♦ Jones County Health Department, 114 Forest St., Gray, Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

♦ Macon-Bibb County Health Department, 171 Emery Highway, Macon, Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

To receive a test at one of these facilities, please contact your medical provider or local public health officials for a referral: District 5-2 North Central Health District (Macon): 1, 844-987-0099. You will receive a referral for the site of your choice.

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