We know that you need accurate and up-to-date information about the effects of the coronavirus in the state and our region. The Dawson County News is making this article available free to non-subscribers as a public service. Please consider supporting our work by subscribing to the Dawson County News.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) confirmed on Friday that Dawson County has recorded its first case of coronavirus (COVID-19).
This confirmation came during a department of health daily update in which officials announced that 420 total cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Georgia. Officials also say that 13 individuals in Georgia have now died due to the virus.
In a Facebook video posted by the Dawson County Government on Friday afternoon, County Manager David Headley said that due to HIPPA laws and Patient Privacy Rights Acts they can not disclose further information about the local individual who tested positive for COVID-19.
Following this announcement, DPH spokesman Dave Palmer said that at the present they are not commenting on whether there are additional cases in Dawson County awaiting test results. Palmer stated that officials "believe numbers will increase as more people are tested."
DPH was also unable to comment on whether the coronavirus case in Dawson County has any connection to cases reported in other surrounding counties.
Last week the North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawson County stated in a message to the public that a part-time employee at the outlets had tested positive for COVID-19. Local and state officials were unable to confirm this claim by the outlets.
Simon Property Group, which owns the North Georgia Premium Outlets, the Mall of Georgia and hundreds of other retail locations, announced earlier this week that they would be closing until the end of the month due to the COVID-19 threat.
This story will be updated.