Coronavirus Update – May 18: Errors in case numbers; Piedmont gets remdesivir; money allocated for homeless

The Georgia Department of Public Health’s published count of COVID-19 cases in the state declined during the weekend because of data coding errors, according to a report in the AJC. The DPH mistakenly logged the results of 231 tests that check for COVID-19 antibodies as diagnostic tests, causing them to be coded as confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, DPH spokeswoman Nancy Nydam said. This error was at least the third time in as many weeks that the DHP has wrongly reported a downward trend in COVID-19 cases. On Monday evening, the DHP confirmed cases stand at 38,283 and the death toll stands at 1,649.

Piedmont Healthcare is participating in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) expanded access program for the antiviral drug remdesivir, which was granted emergency use authorization on May 1. The investigational drug was shown in a clinical trial to shorten the recovery time in some COVID-19 patients. The program is available for patients at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, Piedmont Fayette Hospital and Piedmont Columbus Regional-Midtown Campus and may be expanded to other Piedmont hospitals. Previously, Piedmont participated in the FDA’s compassionate use program for remdesivir.

The Atlanta City Council approved legislation Monday to ratify an executive order directing the city’s chief financial officer to allocate up to $1.5 million for nonprofit and philanthropic communities providing individual shelter options with supportive services for persons experiencing homelessness. The legislation is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which represents a health risk to homeless populations because of congregate living environments, limited access to preventative measures, and higher likelihood for underlying health issues.

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