Six new symptoms have been added to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) existing list of symptoms for COVID-19.
The new symptoms are chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste and/or smell.
These symptoms join the original symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath/difficulty breathing. Symptoms of COVID-19 typically appear 2-14 days after exposure and range from mild to severe.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is expanding testing throughout the state, and the agency said it is important for people to recognize these symptoms and seek testing if they are ill.
All symptomatic individuals are eligible for COVID-19 testing, according to DPH. Health care workers, first responders, law enforcement, and long-term care facility residents and staff are all prioritized for testing whether they have symptoms or not.
People should not arrive unannounced or without a scheduled appointment at a specimen collection site, according to DPH.
There are two ways to be referred for COVID -19 testing:
Local Health Department
Individuals who meet COVID-19 testing criteria may now be referred to DPH specimen collection sites by contacting their local health department. They will be screened by appropriate health department staff and referred to the closest, most convenient specimen collection site. Douglas County is served by Cobb & Douglas Public Health, which can be reached at 770-514-2300 and at http://www.cobbanddouglas publichealth.com
Health Care Provider
Health care providers and/or physicians can still refer patients for COVID-19 testing.
A list of specimen collection sites in Georgia can be found at on the DPH website at https://dph.georgia.gov/locations/covid-19 -testing-site
All Georgians have a critical role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the state, according to DPH.
DPH recommends the following actions to prevent contracting and spreading the disease:
• Practice social distancing — keeping at least six feet between yourself and other people.
• Wash your hands — use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% alcohol) if soap and water aren’t readily available.
• Wear a mask — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the use of face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19, especially where social distancing is difficult to maintain (grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.), and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
For updates via social media on the COVID-19 situation as it develops, DPH recommends following @GaDPH, @GeorgiaEMA and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH, @GEMA.OHS and @GovKemp on Facebook.