Northeast Georgia Health System Encourages You to Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19 This Labor Day Weekend

Published on September 04, 2020

Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) is encouraging people to be more vigilant about avoiding crowds as we enter the Labor Day weekend, after Hall County and the surrounding region saw COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations jump to record levels following the Fourth of July weekend.

“When you look at the objective data, there’s no doubt that our community got a little too relaxed as we celebrated Independence Day – and the resulting increase in COVID activity put people’s lives in danger and placed tremendous strain on our healthcare workers,” says John Delzell, MD, MSPH, one of NGHS’ COVID-19 Incident Commanders with a background in Public Health. “Please celebrate Labor Day safely and help stop the spread by avoiding large parties, wearing your mask around others, watching your distance and washing your hands.”

The NGHS7-day average of positive COVID tests hovered between 5-10% in May and June. Those levels were in line with the state average and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation that the positive rate should remain at 5% or lower for 14 days before communities fully reopen all services. On July 4, though, the NGHS rate jumped to 11.5% – then it leapt to a record 28% by July 16.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work by this community to steadily lower the positivity rate, which is now at 15%,” says Supriya Mannepalli, MD, Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s medical director of Infectious Disease Medicine. “While that’s still higher than the state average of 10% and the 5% goal set by the WHO, it’s still great progress trending in the right direction.

“We need to continue to work together to keep that positive momentum – especially as we head into a holiday weekend, schools are back in session and flu season is starting. Just keep following the simple precautions to help keep the people of this community, as well as local schools and businesses, healthy.”

The latest COVID data from NGHS is updated each day at



Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) is a non-profit on a mission of improving the health of our community in all we do. Our team cares for more than 1 million people across the region through four hospitals and a variety of outpatient locations. Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) has campuses in Gainesville, Braselton, Winder and Dahlonega – with a total of more than 700 beds and more than 1,100 medical staff members representing more than 50 specialties. Learn more at

Copyright ©2020 Northeast Georgia Health System, Inc. | 743 Spring Street Gainesville, GA 30501 | (770) 219-9000

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If you have a fever and cough or difficulty breathing, these steps will help you find the care you need and limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our region:

  • Call before you come

    Please call your doctor's office or an urgent care clinic for advice about where you should go for treatment.

  • Call 9-1-1 for emergencies

    Calling 9-1-1 is always the fastest and most efficient way to get proper treatment for medical emergencies.

  • Consider staying home and taking advantage of an E-Visit

    When symptoms strike, connect with a provider through an E-Visit instead of traveling to the urgent care or the doctor’s office.

    Learn more about E-Visits from these area practices:

For the protection of our patients, staff and community, our visitation guidelines have been updated.

Click here to view our current visitation guidelines.

We update COVID-19 data on our website each day by 3:00 p.m.

Click here to view our updated information.

The best way to avoid infection is to avoid exposure. Here are simple steps you can take to lower your risk of catching or spreading illness:

  • Wear a mask – a cloth face cover can protect other people in case you are infected. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
  • Avoid close contact – maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household. If someone in your household is sick, maintain 6 feet of distance from them as well.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching tissues.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces to help prevent the spread of germs
  • Monitor your health daily –  Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

Learn more by visiting the CDC COVID-19 website.

We want to thank our community and local businesses for their amazing generosity during this time. Here are some ways you can support our community and staff:

  • Donate items and resources

    We are currently receiving donations of items and other resources through the Foundation. Learn how to donate resources and other needed items by clicking here.

  • Sew Masks for Healthcare Workers

    Many people in our community are sewing masks for our healthcare workers. We have created some mask sewing instructions and information about drop-off locations. Get detailed mask-making instructions here.

  • Send a Digital Letter

    We would like your help making digital letters for the residents at New Horizons Nursing home. Email a letter to and we will hand them out to our residents and staff to enjoy.

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