Georgia state health leader on testing, vaccines


ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) — A few weeks ago, the CDC issued guidelines saying only people who show symptoms of the coronavirus should get tested.

Nexstar’s Atlanta Bureau Chief Archith Seshadri spoke exclusively with Georgia’s public health commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey on if and how the guidelines will impact testing in the state—and what’s next for a vaccine.

Georgia’s state health department says havin

you can get tested for the coronavirus, whether or not you have symptoms.

Dr. Toomey says, “We don’t want to stop testing asymptomatic contacts. We know that a considerable number of cases is spread through asymptomatic spread.” 

The CDC also outlined that only 6-percent of people had covid19 listed on their death certificate — which caused confusion.

“They had diabetes so diabetes killed them,” said Dr.Toomey.

But the state health department clarified that – it doesn’t mean the other 94-percent did not die from covid complications.

‘”They have had underlying conditions but they could have lived with that for many years and not succumbed to that illness had covid not happened.”

Dr. Kathleen Toomey says people of color and those with existing conditions could face long term side effects like heart issues or breathing problems.

“I wouldn’t say you are more at risk for contracting covid but you are more at risk for complications or not doing as well or requiring hospitalization care.”

Until a vaccine arrives, the department of health now urges all Georgians to get a flu shot.

“Covid is deadly, in fact more deadly than the flu. It may have mortality even if it is 1% that is many people.”

Dr. Toomey says even when a covid19 vaccine is out we’ll only develop herd immunity if 8 out of 10 people get vaccinated and says georgia’s hospitals cannot handle an influx of both covid and inluenza patients this fall.

You can also get tested for covid19 by CLICKING HERE.


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