Gwinnett County has more cases of coronavirus than elsewhere in Ga.

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There are more cases of coronavirus in Gwinnett County than anywhere else in the state, following an increase in positive tests in recent days.

Dr. Audrey Arona, THE CEO and district health director at the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale Health Department, said the increase in cases comes as more people are tested in the county. Yet she said the positive Gwinnett test rate was higher than the state average of 8.6%. On a recent day at a south Gwinnett test center, 27% of those tested were shown to have COVID-19.

“I think it’s a question of how many tests are being done,” Arona said. “We try to do as many tests as possible.”

As of Friday afternoon, 5,089 positive cases of coronavius had been confirmed in the county. In Fulton, which had the most in the state, there were 5,069 confirmed cases. DeKalb County has 4,282 confirmed cases, while other metropolitan counties have fewer.

As of Friday, 45,647 tests had been carried out in Gwinnett.
“I think that’s why our cases are high,” Arona said. “‘is a good thing. We want to know. … We are desperately trying to stop the transmission of that.
The county had a test site, at the Lawrenceville Department of Health, in addition to a pop-up site at the Infinite Energy Center. Another test site opened on May 20 at Lilburn First Baptist Church, and Department of Health spokesman Chad Wasdin said this was where more positive tests came from.

Wasdin said the area is denser, and it is easier for COVID-19 to spread to areas where people tend to be closer. In addition, he says, the Lilburn test centre is accessible by public transport and has a walk-up option. Other test centres in the county did not have access to the vehicle.

“The more you look, the more you find,” Wasdin said.

As the number of positive tests increased, Gwinnett was briefly considered a hot spot in the state, Arona said. But this designation is based on a 5% increase in positive cases, an Arona rate said was not supported. Wasdin said there were no events the county had found that explained the rise in cases other than more tests.

Even though cases are increasing, Arona said, the number of hospitalizations has not followed. There was also no similar spike in deaths, she said. State data show that Gwinnett had 769 coronavirus-related hospitalizations and 152 deaths.

Arona said positive cases were biased younger, where the disease tends to be less severe.

Yet, she said, residents must continue to be vigilant about their health as the state continues to ease restrictions and more businesses return to normal. Arona encouraged “personal responsibility” and urged residents to continue to wash their hands, wear masks, practice social distancing and stay at home when they feel sick.

“Don’t be lax in all this,” she said. “Just assume that everyone next to you is positive.”

To make an appointment for testing for COVIDE-19 in Gwinnett County, call 770-513-5631 or visit gnrhealth.com.

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