Georgia National Guard tests 100 for COVID-19 at Detention Center

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  • Photo of the Georgia National Guard outside the Elbert County Detention Center Wednesday morning. Photo provided by Elbert County Emergency Services.
    Photo of the Georgia National Guard outside the Elbert County Detention Center Wednesday morning. Photo provided by Elbert County Emergency Services.
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The Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Operations Center sent members of the Georgia National Guard to the Elbert County Detention Center Wednesday where the unit tested 100 people, including 57 inmates, jail staff, maintenance workers and an unidentified local judge for COVID-19, according to Elbert County Emergency Management Agency Director Chuck Almond.

The tests were requested by the Elbert County Emergency Management Agency Monday after a detention center guard and an inmate tested positive for COVID-19.

Almond said test results from the 100 tests conducted Wednesday have been sent to the Georgia Department of Public Health and that results would be complete in two to three days. 

“We put a request in to the state, and they evaluate the requests at the state’s emergency evaluation center,” said Almond Wednesday afternoon. “We put that request in on Monday and they sent the unit to Elberton Wednesday morning.”

In addition to conducting the 100 COVID-19 tests, the National Guard unit sent by the state did a thorough cleaning and disinfecting at the Elbert County Detention Center, said Almond.

The emergency action taken by the state comes as Elbert County’s locally confirmed positive COVID-19 cases reached 19, according to Almond. Only eight days ago the number of locally confirmed cases was 5.

On Wednesday morning Practice Administrator Brooke McDowell confirmed two more positive tests at The Medical Center (TMC) of Elberton, and Almond said Wednesday morning that Piedmont (Athens Regional) Hospital had contacted him and confirmed another positive test.

As of Wednesday evening, locally confirmed COVID-19 tests have been performed on 223 patients in Elbert County ... 100 at the Elbert County Detention Center, 95 at TMC, 19 at Elbert Memorial Hospital, four at an Athens drive-through location, three at Piedmont and two at an unknown location.

TMC reports 14 positive tests, Piedmont has three positive tests and two tests that Almond can confirm are listed in the 19 reported by the Elbert County Emergency Management Agency.  

The 95 negative tests include 76 at TMC and 19 at EMH.

Pending results, as of Wednesday evening, are at 109 ... 100 from the Georgia Department of Public Health, five from TMC and four from the Athens drive-through.