SGMC building

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VALDOSTA – A second South Georgia Medical Center employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The SGMC employee received a positive test for COVID-19 Thursday, according to a letter sent to South Georgia Medical Center employees Friday from Johnny Ball, SGMC vice president of marketing and public affairs. Ball confirmed the letter's contents to The Valdosta Daily Times.

Ball said the person has not been hospitalized at SGMC and the source of exposure was unknown as of 4 p.m. Friday.

The person last worked March 18 at the hospital, started showing symptoms March 23 and was quarantined at home at the same time, Ball said.

Citing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act laws, Ball said he could not disclose the employee's occupation at SGMC.

Additionally, SGMC has received five patients transferred from from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany.

Ball confirmed the Phoebe patients are still under observation and being tested for COVID-19. SGMC had not received the test results as of 4 p.m. Friday, he said.

The Albany health care system has had 266 patients test positive for the coronavirus and 16 patient deaths as of noon Friday, according to the hospital's website.

Dougherty County has the second most COVID-19 cases, 193, of any county in the state, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health daily status report.

Documents also indicated that, through Thursday, 1,634 people have received screenings for COVID-19 at the SGMC drive-through screening station at Smith Northview campus.

Ball confirmed the 136 people screened per day at the station with 3-5% then tested for COVID-19. 

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