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VERIFY: Yes, the Georgia COVID-19 count reflects confirmed cases, not positive tests

The Georgia Department of Public Health confirms it

MACON, Ga. — There have been plenty of social media claims about COVID-19. Some have been truthful, but many have not.

A new post has started popping up online. A viewer asked 13WMAZ to verify if it's accurate.

The post makes two connected claims.

It says anybody who tests positive for COVID-19 must continue to be tested every week until they get two negative results, and if an individual gets more than one positive test result over that period, each of those positive results will be counted by the state as a new case of the virus.

If true, that would lead to an inflated statewide case count.

However, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) says the post is false.

North Central Health District (the main Central Georgia DPH office) spokesman Michael Hokanson says the DPH does not require individuals who test positive to keep getting tests until they get two negative results.

"That is not a DPH rule at all," he said.

Hokanson said some private employers might have requirements like that for their employees to return to work after a positive test, but it is not the DPH's policy.

Even if somebody does test positive and does get subsequent tests that also come back positive, that person will still be counted as only one case, despite multiple positive results.

"The individual can get tested multiple times and get a bunch of positive tests while they're infectious but they will only be counted in the confirmed cases once," said Hokanson.

The post claiming otherwise is false.

"Misinformation, rumors, just outright falsities have been an issue throughout this entire response to COVID-19," added Hokanson.

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