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Coronavirus global death toll hits 2,126
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Coronavirus global death toll hits 2,126

Coronavirus: France confirms first European fatality with death of Chinese tourist

Coronavirus global death toll hits 2,126

More than 2,120 people have died globally and thousands of others have fallen ill due to the 2019 novel coronavirus, according to multiple reports.

At least 2,126 people globally have died from coronavirus, CNN reported Thursday. A majority of the deaths have been reported in China, where health officials announced 114 more deaths and 394 more confirmed cases of the illness.

Overall, 75,730 coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide, including 74,576 in China, according to CNN.

South Korea reports 1st coronavirus death

Update 4:25 a.m. EST Feb. 20: One coronavirus patient in South Korea has died from the virus, The Associated Press is reporting. This marks the country’s first coronavirus death.

Health officials also said Thursday that 82 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in South Korea, according to the AP.

Meanwhile, Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin is asking the city’s 2.5 million residents to stay inside, the AP reported.

2 Diamond Princess cruise passengers die from coronavirus

Update 10 p.m. EST Feb. 19: A Japanese man and woman aboard the Diamond Princess who had the coronavirus have died according to the Japan Times.

Government officials told the Japan Times that the victims were in their 80s.

About 500 passengers left the Diamond Princess cruise ship Wednesday at the end of a much-criticized two-week quarantine that failed to stop the spread of the new virus among passengers and crew.

The quarantine’s flop was underlined as Japanese authorities announced 79 more cases, bringing the total on the ship to 621. Results were still pending for some other passengers and crew among the original 3,711 people on board.

Japan’s government has been questioned over its decision to keep people on the ship, which some experts have called a perfect virus incubator.

The Diamond Princess has the most infections outside of China.

2 coronavirus deaths reported in Iran

Update 12 p.m. EST Feb. 19: Two Iranians have died after testing positive for the coronavirus, Kianush Jahanpur, Iran’s health ministry spokesman, said Wednesday.

Citing the state-run IRNA news agency, The Guardian reported the two people who died were elderly Iranian citizens. Their cases had been confirmed earlier Wednesday, according to Reuters.

3 new cases confirmed in Singapore

Update 9:45 a.m. EST Feb. 19: Officials with Singapore’s Ministry of Health confirmed three new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total in the country to 84.

Health officials said the new cases involved two women, aged 57 and 35, and a 54-year-old man. None of the three had a recent history of travel to China, officials said.

79 new coronavirus cases linked to Diamond Princess

Update 7:41 a.m. EST Feb. 19: Japanese health officials on Wednesday confirmed 79 more coronavirus cases linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship, CNN is reporting.

Overall, 624 cases of the virus have been linked to the ship, which has been docked in Japan and began disembarking passengers Wednesday, the news outlet reported.

23rd coronavirus case reported in Taiwan

Update 4:32 a.m. EST Feb. 19: Taiwanese health officials said Wednesday that a 23rd case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the country, CNN is reporting.

The most recent patient’s brother died from the virus Sunday, and three other members of her family have contracted the illness, authorities said.

China’s national health commission puts death toll at 2,004

Update 8:02 p.m. EST, Feb. 18: Officials in China’s Hubei province released new figures Tuesday that put the death toll above 2,000, CBS News and CNBC reported, The virus total stood at 2,004, according to The Associated Press.

According to the AP, new virus cases continued to drop, with 1,749 new infections 136 new deaths announced in China on Wednesday.

Quarantined patients allowed to leave Miramar base

Update 1:42 p.m. EST, Feb. 18: After two weeks in quarantine, nearly 165 people who left the China coronavirus outbreak are finally allowed to leave Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for the first time, KSWB reported.

It was the first and largest group to arrive at the base. Two of the evacuees had tested positive and were sent to an isolated unit at UC San Diego Health. Five had tested negative after showing symptoms related to coronavirus.

They were taken to train stations and airports to get home. If those who had been quarantined couldn’t pay for their trip, officials offered loans, KSWB reported.

10% of China’s population under restriction

Update 12:27 p.m. EST, Feb. 18: The New York Times is reporting that at least 150 million people in China are under some sort of restriction by the government that tells them when and if they can leave their homes. That number according to the newspaper is more than 10% of the country’s population of 1.435 billion. But that is only part of the picture. Overall, there are more than 760 million people who are under local rules in their neighborhoods or villages or about half of China’s population.

The rules change depending on the area. Some neighborhoods have a sign in and identification check. They also have to have their temperature checked. Some areas will not allow guests. While other areas are more strict, only allowing one person per household to leave at a time, the Times reported.

The number of infections in China has risen but at a slower rate than earlier, The Washington Post reported.

Wuhan hospital director dies

Update 9:45 a.m. EST Feb. 18: Liu Zhiming, the director of Wuchang Hospital in Wuhan, died Tuesday. Officials said he was one of the victims of the coronavirus, NBC News reported.

According to The New York Times, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a statement, “From the start of the outbreak, Comrade Liu Zhiming, without regard to his personal safety, led the medical staff of Wuchang Hospital at the front lines of the fight against the epidemic.”

More coronavirus cases linked to Diamond Princess

Update 8:26 a.m. EST Feb. 18: Another 88 people aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship have coronavirus, CNN is reporting. Overall, 544 cases have been linked to the ship, authorities said.

Some Diamond Princess passengers to begin disembarking Wednesday

Update 4:16 a.m. EST Feb. 1: A Japanese health official has confirmed that some passengers aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama will begin disembarking Wednesday.

Katsunobu Kato, the country’s minister of health, labor and welfare, said the process may take “several days,” CNN reported.

At least 456 coronavirus cases have been linked to the ship, the outlet reported.

Chinese officials revise numbers: 98 more deaths, 1,886 new cases 

Update 8:05 p.m. EST Feb. 17: Chinese officials reported 1,886 new virus cases and 98 more deaths in its update Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. 

A total of 72,436 cases have been reported in mainland China as of Tuesday, according to the AP.

Officials learned Americans tested positive for coronavirus shortly before flights back to US

Update 3:20 p.m. EST Feb. 17: U.S. officials learned that 14 Americans tested positive for coronavirus as they were evacuating a group of more than 300 U.S. citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship back to the U.S., according to officials and The New York Times.

State Department officials said they learned of the positive results about two or three days after the tests were administered. By then, the evacuees had already disembarked the cruise ship and began traveling back to the U.S.

The Times reported that officials with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo told Diamond Princess passengers that no one determined to be infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus would be allowed to board government-chartered flights back to the U.S. However, officials changed their plans after the test results came back, according to the newspaper.

Officials said the 14 infected Americans traveled in a specialized containment area which kept them isolated from healthy passengers. State Department officials noted all 14 remained asymptomatic over the course of the flights.

Diamond Princess passengers brought back to the U.S. will remain quarantined for 14 days to allow health officials to monitor for any signs of infection, officials said.

CDC: Results pending for 60 Americans tested for coronavirus

Update 12 p.m. EST Feb. 17: Officials with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 60 possible coronavirus cases remain under investigation Monday.

Officials have confirmed 15 cases so far of the 2019 novel coronavirus in a handful of states: eight in California, two in Illinois and one each in Washington, Massachusetts, Texas, Arizona and Wisconsin.

A total of 467 possible coronavirus cases have been investigated by CDC officials since Jan. 21. Of those, 392 people have tested negative for the virus.

2nd flight carrying Americans from Diamond Princess lands in US

Update 6:01 a.m. EST Feb. 17: A second flight carrying Americans from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship back to the United States has landed in Texas, officials said early Monday.

According to CNN, the plane landed at Lackland Air Force Base just before 5 a.m. EST. 

Flight carrying Americans from Diamond Princess lands in California

Update 3:12 a.m. EST Feb. 17: A flight that transported a group of Americans from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship back to the United States has landed in California, officials said early Monday.

According to CNN, the plane landed at Travis Air Force Base just before 2:30 a.m. EST.

Coronavirus death toll rises in China

Update 10:10 p.m. EST Feb. 16: Officials said 105 people died Sunday of the 2019 novel coronavirus in China, upping the death toll attributed to the virus to 1,775. 

A majority of the deaths -- all but four -- have been reported in China. 

Earlier in the day, CNN reported officials in China’s Hubei province had recorded 100 deaths due to coronavirus Sunday. Five other deaths were later reported in other parts of the country, according to the news network.

Death toll rises to 1,770 worldwide 

Update 7:05 p.m. EST Feb. 16: Numbers shared Monday local time in China’s Hubei province have brought the coronavirus death toll to 1,770 globally, according to the South China Morning Post and CNN. 

Health officials in the province, the epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic, reported 100 new deaths connected to the virus Sunday, the Morning Post reported. 

The 2019 novel coronavirus has claimed 1,696 lives in China since it was discovered late last year in Wuhan, according to CNN and health officials. Four deaths have been reported outside of China: one in the Philippines, one in Taiwan, one in France and one in Japan.

Charter planes carrying Americans evacuated from cruise ship leave Tokyo 

Update 5:30 p.m. EST Feb. 16: Two planes chartered by the U.S. government for Americans who had been quarantined off the coast of Japan on the Diamond Princess cruise ship have left Tokyo, according to CNN. 

The planes are bound for Kelly Field/Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and the Travis Air Force Base in California, respectively, CNN reported. 

Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell told The New York Times that once the planes land in Texas and California, passengers will undergo a 14-day quarantine, as required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Singapore confirms 3 new coronavirus cases 

Update 4:20 p.m. EST Feb. 16: Officials with Singapore’s Ministry of Health have confirmed three new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 75. 

Health officials linked two of the cases, involving two men ages 43 and 29, to a church in central Singapore. The third cases, involving a 71-year-old woman, is a relative of someone who had been placed under quarantine, officials said Sunday in a statement..

44 Americans on Diamond Princess tested positive, official says

Update 1:23 p.m. EST Feb. 16: Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Washington Post on Sunday that 44 Americans who were traveling on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have been infected with the coronavirus.

Hundreds of U.S. citizens who have been quarantined on the ship were evacuated Sunday evening, the newspaper reported. They were taken by bus to a nearby airport, where two chartered planes are scheduled to return them to the United States.

Taiwan reports first death; fourth outside mainland China

Update 11:53 a.m. EST Feb. 16: Taiwan officials reported the island’s first fatality from the coronavirus Saturday, as a 61-year-old man who had a history of diabetes and hepatitis B died, The New York Times reported. The man was admitted to a hospital Feb. 3 after he developed a cough a week earlier, Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare said in a statement. The man did not have a known history of traveling to mainland China, and health officials were investigating how he became infected, the newspaper reported.

This death is the fourth reported coronavirus fatality to take place outside mainland China.

Holland America confirms case in former Westerdam passenger

Update 8:43 a.m. EST Feb. 16: The company that owns the Westerdam cruise ship issued a statement Sunday acknowledging one of its passengers tested positive for the coronavirus. In a statement, Holland America said, “The guest departed Westerdam (on) Feb. 14 and later reported feeling ill at the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia airport. The guest was taken to the hospital and is reported to be in stable condition. The guest’s traveling companion tested negative.”

Italy plans to evacuate 35 from Diamond Princess cruise ship

Update 7:01 a.m. EST Feb. 16: Italy will be evacuating 35 passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan, according to CNN.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio issued a statement Sunday about the evacuation. A flight will bring the Italian passengers home, he said.

No further details were immediately available.

More Diamond Princess cruises canceled through April 20

Update 3:43 a.m. EST Feb. 16: Princess Cruises announced early Sunday that it is canceling more voyages for the Diamond Princess ship docked in Japan.

“Based on the prolonged quarantine period, and the anticipated time to prepare the ship to return to service, we unfortunately must cancel additional Diamond Princess voyages through the April 20 voyage,” the cruise line tweeted

See the full list of scheduled changes here.

Fatality rate remains stable in China at 142 new deaths 

Update 8 p.m. EST Feb. 15: China reported a drop in new virus cases for a third straight day. 

There are 2,009 new cases in mainland China, bringing its total number of confirmed cases to 68,500, according to the country’s National Health Commission. 

The fatality rate remained stable with 142 new deaths. The death toll in mainland China from COVID-19, a disease stemming from a new form of coronavirus, now stands at 1,665.

Fourth coronavirus fatality outside mainland China, first in Europe confirmed 

Update 6:05 a.m. EST Feb. 15: A Chinese tourist has died in France from the novel coronavirus, marking the first recorded fatality from the disease outside Asia. 

French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn confirmed to the BBC early Saturday that the victim was an 80-year-old woman from China’s Hubei province who arrived in France Jan. 16 and was quarantined in a Paris hospital on Jan. 25. 

Although more than 1,500 people have died from the virus since the outbreak began, only three – one each in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan – had occurred outside mainland China prior to the fatality in France. 

France has previously confirmed 11 cases of coronavirus, and six remain hospitalized, the BBC reported

New coronavirus cases confirmed in Malaysia, Thailand 

Update 6 a.m. EST Feb. 15: Malaysian officials confirmed early Saturday two new novel coronavirus cases, while officials in Thailand confirmed a medical worker has become that nation’s 34th case, CNN reported. 

Both Malaysian patients are Chinese nationals and bring that country’s total cases to 21.

According to CNN, a 27-year-old businessman from Guangzhou presented with symptoms during a Friday screening at the Bukit Kayu Hitam Customs, near the border with Thailand. The second patient is a 32-year-old Malaysian woman who visited China between Jan. 22 and Jan. 30. 

The infected Thai medical worker is a 35-year-old woman whom health authorities confirmed had close contact with another confirmed patient. Of Thailand’s 34 confirmed cases, CNN reported, 14 have been discharged and 20 remain hospitalized. 

67 new coronavirus cases confirmed aboard Diamond Princess cruise ship 

Update 5:55 a.m. EST Feb. 15: Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato confirmed early Saturday that an additional 67 people aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship moored off the coast of Japan have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, CNN reported. 

The latest figures bring the total number of confirmed cases aboard the ship to 286. That figure, combined with the 39 cases confirmed elsewhere across Japan, brings the country’s total recorded infections to 325, the highest concentration of cases reported outside mainland China, the network reported.

Email to passengers outlines chartered flight, stateside quarantine plans 

Update 4:13 a.m. EST Feb. 15: In an email to American passengers aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, officials with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo said a chartered flight will arrive Sunday evening to retrieve any of the roughly 380 U.S. citizens aboard the ship who have not yet tested positive for or exhibited symptoms of the novel coronavirus, the New York Times and CNN reported. 

The ship, carrying more than 3,700 passengers and crewmembers, has been quarantined off the coast of Japan in Yokohama Bay since Feb. 4, after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus. To date, at least 218 cases have been confirmed aboard the ship, including at least 40 Americans who have been transported to medical facilities for treatment, the Times reported. 

Per the email shared by CNN, buses will transport evacuating U.S. citizens from Yokohama to an undisclosed airport. 

“Passengers will be screened for symptoms and we are working with our Japanese partners to ensure that any symptomatic passengers receive the required care in Japan if they cannot board the flight,” the email reads. 

The plane is scheduled to first land at California’s Travis Air Force Base, before transporting remaining passengers to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. 

“We will provide information about your final destination prior to boarding the plane," the embassy told passengers, noting a new 14-day quarantine of all evacuees will begin once transport is complete. 

“We understand this is frustrating and an adjustment, but these measures are consistent with the careful policies we have instituted to limit the potential spread of the disease,” the email reads. 

Disembarkation of passengers not voluntarily evacuating on Sunday’s charter flight, will begin Feb. 21 and last several days, CNN reported. 

More than 8,000 recovered coronavirus patients discharged from hospitals 

Update 4:10 a.m. EST Feb. 15: China’s National Health Commission confirmed early Saturday a total of 8,096 patients have been declared recovered from the novel coronavirus and discharged from medical facililties. 

According to the most recent data available, 67,097 cases have been reported worldwide with 66,492 cases confined to mainland China. While only three coronavirus-related deaths have been confirmed outside China, the illness has claimed 1,523 lives within the country. Meanwhile, 605 confirmed cases have been reported outside China, including 15 in the United States, CNN reported.

Report: The State Department organizing evacuation of Americans from Diamond Princess cruise ship

Update 9:30 p.m. EST Feb. 14: The State Department is planning to evacuate at least 380 Americans quarantined on Diamond Princess cruise ship near Japan, according to the Wall Street Journal.

China reports major drop from higher numbers after broader diagnostic method implemented

Update 8 p.m. EST Feb. 14: The number of new deaths rose slightly to 143, bringing the total fatalities in mainland China to 1,523. The total number of confirmed cases in the country now stands at 66,492, according to a notice from China’s National Health Commission.

China has implemented unprecedented measures in a sweeping campaign to contain the virus. At the outbreak’s epicenter in the central province of Hubei, cities with a combined population of more than 60 million have been placed under lockdown, with outbound transportation halted and virtually all public activities suspended.

1st coronavirus case confirmed in Egypt

Update 1:35 p.m. EST Feb. 14: Officials Egypt have confirmed the country’s first case of coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization.

Officials said in a statement posted on Twitter that the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population confirmed the case, which involves a foreign national who appeared to be asymptomatic. The man has been hospitalized in stable condition, according to WHO officials.

The case marks the first in Africa since COVID-19 was first discovered in Wuhan, China, late last year, according to The Guardian.

Tens of thousands of cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in 26 countries. A vast majority of the cases were reported in China.

CDC: 81 possible coronavirus cases under investigation in US

Update 12:30 p.m. EST Feb. 14: Officials with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 81 possible coronavirus cases remained under investigation Friday.

Officials have confirmed 15 cases so far of the 2019 novel coronavirus in a handful of states: eight in California, two in Illinois and one each in Washington, Massachusetts, Texas, Arizona and Wisconsin.

A total of 443 possible coronavirus cases have been investigated by CDC officials since Jan. 21. Of those, 347 people have tested negative for the virus.

WHO team to land in China over weekend

Update 11:15 a.m. EST Feb. 14: A team of World Health Organization experts is set to touch down over the weekend in China to help health officials dealing with the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said at a news conference Friday that the group of 12 experts would work with an equal number of their Chinese counterparts to “understand the application and impact of response activities at provincial and county levels, including urban and rural settings.”

“The goal of the joint mission is to rapidly inform the next steps in the COVID-19 response and preparedness activities in China and globally,” Tedros said. “Particular attention will be paid to understanding the transmission of the virus, the severity of disease and the impact of ongoing response measures.”

According to WHO, Chinese laboratories have confirmed 47,505 cases of coronavirus in the country as of Friday. In the Hubei Province, 16,427 coronavirus cases have been clinically confirmed. Officials with WHO said they were investigating Friday to ensure those reports didn’t erroneously include other respiratory illnesses, such as influenza.

Outside of China, 505 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in two dozen countries.

Health officials said 1,383 people have died of the coronavirus, with all but two of the deaths in China.

Japan confirms 3 new coronavirus cases, Singapore confirms 9

Update 9:30 a.m. EST Feb. 14: Officials in Japan and Singapore have confirmed several new coronavirus cases, according to CNN and health officials.

Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced a Japanese citizen who recently returned on a government charter from China’s Wuhan Province tested positive for the coronavirus, according to CNN. Two men, one in his 60s from Aicha Prefecture and the other in his 50s from Hokkaido, were also confirmed to have the virus. Neither of the latter two men had visited China, CNN reported.

The new cases bring the total number of coronavirus cases in Japan to 257.

Officials with Singapore’s Ministry of Health said Friday in a statement that nine new cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in the country. Six of the cases were linked to a church in central Singapore and one other was linked to a previous case. Health officials said Friday that they were still investigating the causes of the other two cases.

The new cases bring the total number of coronavirus cases in Singapore to 67.

Quarantine break threatens public health in Russia 

Update 7:20 a.m. EST Feb. 14: A Russian woman might have outsmarted health care workers observing her for evidence of novel coronavirus exposure in a St. Petersburg hospital, but her escape did not go unnoticed. 

Health authorities have filed a lawsuit against the unidentified woman for endangering the public after she short-circuited the electronic lock on the door to her Botkin Hospital for Infectious Diseases ward, CNN reported.

The woman had returned from China in February. 

Read more here

Hong Kong confirms 3 new cases, Japan confirms 4 

Update 7:15 a.m. EST Feb. 14: The citywide total reached 56 on Friday after health officials confirmed three new cases of novel coronavirus in Hong Kong, CNN reported 

Chuang Shuk-Kwan of the Center for Health Protection said during a Friday press conference the patients include a 70-year-old woman in critical condition who visited mainland China in January and a 61-year-old woman who has been hospitalized with fever and breathing problems since Feb. 3. 

Health officials confirmed 36 suspected cases have been reported in the past 24 hours, while 114 people are already hospitalized with the virus. Of those confirmed cases, five are listed in critical condition and four are in serious condition, CNN 

reported. 

Meanwhile, four additional cases – none of which are associated with the Diamond Princess cruise ship – have been confirmed in Japan, the country’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare reported Friday. 

The new cases bring Japan’s total number of infected patients to 254, including 219 linked to the Diamond Princess. A woman in her 80s is the country’s only known fatality associated with the virus to date, CNN reported.

6 medical workers in China have died, more than 1,700 infected

Update 4:50 a.m. EST Feb. 14: A total of 1,716 medical workers in China have contracted the novel coronavirus, including six who have died of COVID-19, health officials confirmed Friday. 

Zeng Yixin, vice minister of China’s National Health Commission told reporters in Beijing the figures are current through Feb. 11, CNN reported. 

Zeng also said steps have been taken to reduce future infections among medical personnel such as beefing up the equipment needed to treat patients and ensuring healthcare workers have access to better conditions for rest and recuperation, the network reported

High-risk cruise ship passengers await transfers to shoreside quarantine facilities in Japan 

Update 4:45 a.m. EST Feb. 14: Diamond Princess Captain Stefano Ravera told passengers that 11 of them will be moved to shoreside quarantine facilities Friday afternoon because the Japanese Ministry of Health says they meet the criteria for being at high risk if infected with the novel coronavirus, CNN reported. 

The ship, slated to remain under a 14-day quarantine until Feb. 19, is docked off the coast of Yokohama, Japan, and 219 cases of the virus have been confirmed aboard the vessel. 

China seeks plasma donors to help develop antibody treatment 

Update 4:40 a.m. EST Feb. 14: A senior health official in China is urging patients who have recovered from the novel coronavirus to donate blood plasma, in hopes their naturally-produced antibodies could spur development of treatment, the New York Times reported. 

Dr. Zhang Dingyu, director of the Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, China, issued his plea to the public late Thursday. 

According to the Times, China National Biotec Group, a state-owned company under the Ministry of Health, announced Thursday it has determined that administering a round of human antibodies from the survivors to more than 10 critically ill patients reduced inflammation levels significantly after 12 to 24 hours of treatment.

Virus expected to linger ‘beyond this year’

Update 1:55 a.m. EST Feb. 14: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is leaning heavily on the latter portion of its name and entering what Director Robert Redfield called “aggressive containment mode” to limit the novel coronavirus’ spread, CNN reported.

"We don't know a lot about this virus," Redfield told CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta, adding, “This virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community-based transmission." 

The containment phase, he told the network, is a tactic to buy time. 

"The containment phase is really to give us more time. This virus will become a community virus at some point in time, this year or next year," Redfield said. 

Officials blame ‘duplication’ for initially higher fatality reports, revise down death toll

Update 1:50 a.m. EST Feb. 14: China’s National Health Commission clarified early Friday that duplications detected in “data collection and recording” inadvertently inflated infection and fatality figures reported earlier in the day. 

Although initial figures released Thursday out of Hubei province indicated the total number of infections reported globally had eclipsed 65,000, the revised figures suggest about 1,200 fewer confirmed cases, CNN reported.

According to the commission, the current number of mainland China infections increased by 5,090 cases in 24 hours to 63,851, resulting in 1,380 deaths. The global totals have been adjusted to 64,435 cases and 1,383 deaths, the New York Times reported.

There are now at least 585 confirmed cases of the virus in 27 countries and territories outside mainland China, CNN reported.

Cruise ship Westerdam passengers begin disembarking 

Update 1:45 a.m. EST Feb. 14: The first of hundreds of passengers stuck onboard the Westerdam cruise ship in southeast Asia began disembarking the beleaguered ship late Thursday. 

Officials with the Holland American Line tweeted confirmation of the departures in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

The ship had been turned away by Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines due to fears of potential COVID-19 infections, but no cases were detected onboard after docking in Cambodia, CNN reported.

Limited availability of charter flights, however, could mean it could take several days to complete the departures, the network reported.

2nd coronavirus death outside China reported in Japan

Update 12:40 p.m. EST Feb. 13: The second death attributed to COVID-19 outside of China has been reported in Japan.

Officials said the coronavirus claimed the life of an 80-year-old woman living near Tokyo, according to Reuters. The woman became ill in January, but it wasn’t until after her death that health officials determined she had coronavirus, Reuters reported, citing Japan’s health minister.

The virus has claimed more than 1,360 lives in China since it was discovered late last year in the city of Wuhan, CNN reported. In the Philippines, one person has died of coronavirus.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases spiked in China on Thursday because of a change in the way the virus is diagnosed and reported. In China’s Hubei province, medical professionals are now able to diagnose suspected coronavirus cases using chest imaging instead of awaiting laboratory confirmation, according to the World Health Organization.

Laboratory confirmation is still required in the rest of China and the rest of the world, said Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme.

15th coronavirus case confirmed in Texas

Update 10:35 a.m. EST Feb. 13: Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that the 15th case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the U.S.

The case involved a person who was placed under a federal quarantine order with a group at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas. The person had flown to the U.S. on a flight chartered by the U.S. State Department on Friday.

Officials with the CDC said the person was receiving medical care Thursday at a nearby hospital

Fourteen other people have been confirmed as having been infected with coronavirus: eight in California, two in Illinois, one in Washington, one in Massachusetts, one in Arizona and one in Wisconsin.

Cruise ship Westerdam allowed to dock in Cambodia

Update 7 a.m. EST Feb. 13: The Holland America Line announced Wednesday that a cruise ship barred from docking in Thailand, the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan amid coronavirus fears has been authorized to dock in Cambodia and let passengers off the ship, The Associated Press is reporting.

The ship’s operators said nobody on board the cruise, which began in Singapore, has the virus, according to the AP.

Nearly 50,000 cases confirmed in province at center of outbreak

Update 2:52 a.m. EST Feb. 13: Almost 50,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in China’s Hubei Province, The New York Times is reporting.

Officials said Thursday that they have confirmed 14,840 more cases of the illness, raising the total in the region to 48,206, according to the newspaper. At least 1,310 people there have died from the virus, authorities said.

44 more cases on quarantined Diamond Princess ship

Update 11 p.m. EST Feb. 12: Japan’s health ministry said 44 more people on the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo have tested positive for the virus that causes the new disease known as COVID-19.

The ship, which is still carrying more than 3,500 passengers and crewmembers, has 218 people infected with the virus out of 713 people tested since the ship returned to the Yokohama Port on Feb. 3.

2nd case in San Diego

Update 7:30 p.m. EST Feb. 12: Another person has tested positive for coronavirus in California bring the total of confirmed cases in the United States to 14, according to the CDC.

The CDC said in a release that there will likely be additional cases “in the coming days or weeks.”

At least 195 were discharged from quarantine yesterday but more than 600 who returned to the U.S. on chartered flights from Wuhan remain under the federal quaranantine.

Test kits sent by CDC flawed, officials say

Update 4:25 p.m. EST Feb. 12: Some of the coronavirus test kits sent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to states and at least 30 countries have proved to be flawed, CDC officials said Wednesday at a news conference.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters Wednesday that some laboratories reported issues after receiving coronavirus diagnostic test kits from the CDC.

“Some public health labs in states were getting inconclusive results,” Messonnier said. “What that means is that test results were not coming back as false positive of false negatives, but they were being read as inconclusive.”

The issues were discovered while scientists were verifying the tests worked correctly, Messonnier said. Officials believe the issue is tied to one of the reagents used to verify the test.

“We think the issue in these states can be explained by one reagent that isn’t performing as it should consistently,” Messonnier said. “That’s why we’re re-manufacturing the reagent.”

Messonnier stressed that the issue was not unusual.

“This is part of the normal process and procedure and redoing the manufacturing is the next step,” she said.

Officials with the CDC began sending test kits last week to laboratories in the U.S. and internationally.

New coronavirus case confirmed in UK

Update 3:55 p.m. EST Feb. 12: Health officials in the United Kingdom confirmed Wednesday that a new case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the country, bringing the total number of people infected by coronavirus in the country to nine.

“The virus was passed on in China and the patient has now been transferred to a specialist (National Health Service) center at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ in London,” Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said in a statement.

More than 45,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed globally since the virus was first detected late last year in Wuhan, China, according to the World Health Organization. More than 1,110 people have died of the virus.

More than 45,000 cases of COVID-19 confirmed worldwide

Update 1:55 p.m. EST Feb. 12: More than 45,000 cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus have been confirmed globally, with a majority reported in China, according to the World Health Organization.

As of 6 a.m. Geneva time Wednesday, 44,730 cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in China. In two dozen other countries, a total of 441 other cases have been confirmed.

“The number of newly confirmed cases reported from China has stabilized over the past week, but that must be interpreted with extreme caution,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said Wednesday. “The outbreak could still go in any direction.”

In China, 1,114 people have died after being infected with the coronavirus, WHO officials said. One person has died of coronavirus in the Philippines.

Illinois becomes first state with ability to test for coronavirus

Update 11:40 a.m. EST Feb. 12: Illinois has become the first state able to test for COVID-19, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

“The ability to do this testing will mean we will be able to detect any new cases of novel coronavirus earlier and prevent any possible spread,” IDPH Assistant Director Evonda Thomas-Smith said Tuesday in a news release. “We understand there is concern about this new virus, which is why having test results back quickly can help reduce some of those concerns.”

Previously, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had the only lab able to test for the 2019 novel coronavirus. Last week, CDC officials began sending out diagnostic test kits to laboratories in the U.S. and internationally.

Singapore confirms 3 more coronavirus cases

Update 10:45 a.m. EST Feb. 12: Officials with Singapore’s Ministry of Health said Wednesday that three new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the country, bringing the total number of cases there to 50.

Health officials said the new cases involved three Singaporean men, ages 34, 49 and 62, who had no recent history of travel to China.

Fifteen people have been discharged from hospitals in Singapore after recovering from coronavirus. Health officials said 35 people remained hospitalized Wednesday, most improving or in stable condition.

Testing ongoing for coronavirus vaccine

Update 10:05 a.m. EST Feb. 12: Scientists worldwide continue work to develop and test a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus, including a San Diego lab which developed a possible vaccine in just three hours, according to multiple reports.

Biotechnology company Inovio Pharmaceuticals previously developed vaccines for the Zika virus and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a coronavirus related to COVID-19. On Tuesday, Trevor Smith, director of research and development at Inovio Pharmaceuticals, told KFMB-TV that company scientists had developed a vaccine for COVID-19 hours after beginning work with a genetic sequence released by Chinese scientists.

“We have an algorithm, which we designed, and we put the DNA sequence into our algorithm and came up with the vaccine in that short amount of time,” Smith said according to KFMB-TV.

The lab is collaborating with Philadelphia’s Wistar Institute and others to test the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The newspaper noted that testing is expected to take months.

Last month, Inovio Pharmaceuticals announced the company was working with Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology Co. in order to run human trials of the vaccine concurrently in China and the U.S.

More than 45,000 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus worldwide, mostly in China. The virus has killed over 1,100 people since it was first discovered late last year in Wuhan, China.

In the U.S., health officials said 13 people had been diagnosed with the virus in California, Washington, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Arizona and Illinois.

50th coronavirus case confirmed in Hong Kong

Update 6 a.m. EST Feb. 12: A 50th confirmed coronavirus case has been reported in Hong Kong, authorities announced Wednesday.

According to CNN, the latest patient is a 51-year-old man who worked with the city’s 37th patient.

3 coronavirus patients discharged in South Korea

Update 2 a.m. EST Feb. 12: Three people in South Korea who were confirmed to have coronavirus have been discharged from the hospital, health officials said Wednesday.

The South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said all three recovered from the illness, according to CNN.

The news comes days after officials discharged another patient in South Korea last week, the news outlet reported. Two dozen coronavirus patients remain hospitalized in South Korea, authorities said.

China’s new virus cases fall again

Update 10 p.m. EST Feb. 11: China reported another drop in the number of new cases of a viral infection and 97 more deaths, pushing the total dead past 1,100 even as the country remains largely closed down to prevent the spread of the disease.

The National Health Commission said that 2,015 new cases had been reported over the last 24 hours, declining for a second day. The total number of cases in mainland China is 44,653, although many experts say a large number of others infected have gone uncounted.

The 97 additional deaths from the virus raised the mainland toll to 1,113.

Japan’s health ministry: 39 new cases confirmed on cruise ship

Update 9 p.m. EST Feb. 11: Japan’s health ministry said that 39 new cases of a virus have been confirmed on a cruise ship quarantined at a Japanese port.

The update brings the total found on the Diamond Princess to 174 cases.

The ministry also said the virus was confirmed in a official who participated in the initial quarantine checks the night the ship returned to Yokohama Port near Tokyo on Feb. 3. The quarantine official is being treated in the hospital.

The U.S.-operated Diamond Princess had completed a 14-day tour during which it stopped at Hong Kong and several other Asian ports before returning to Japan.

WHO: More evidence shows link between COVID-19, bats

Update 3:50 p.m. EST Feb. 11: Officials with the World Health Organization said Tuesday in a situation report that mounting evidence is showing a link between the 2019 novel coronavirus and bats.

Officials said the virus appeared to be linked to bats of the Rhinolophus sub-species, which are abundant in southern China and across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, officials said. However, it remained unclear Monday how the virus passed from bats to humans.

As of Tuesday, more than 43,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, with a vast majority reported in China. Officials with WHO said the virus has claimed 1,017 lives in the country so far. One person has also died of coronavirus in the Philippines.

Germany confirms two more cases of coronavirus

Update 2:45 p.m. EST Feb. 11: Two new cases of the coronavirus, COVID-19, have been confirmed by authorities in Germany, The Washington Post reported.

The illnesses, which were connected to automotive supplier Webasto, bring the total number of coronavirus cases in Germany to 16, according to the Post.

Officials with Webasto said last month that a 33-year-old Chinese employee from Shanghai tested positive for coronavirus after visiting China and returning to Germany, according to Reuters and the Post.

The company temporarily closed its headquarters after learning of the employee’s diagnoses. Officials told Reuters they planned to reopen the building near Munich on Wednesday.

American Airlines extends suspension of flights to and from China, Hong Kong

Update 2:15 p.m. EST Feb. 11: American Airlines officials announced the company is extending its suspension of flights to and from mainland China and Hong Kong due to reduced demand amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Airline officials said flights bound to mainland China from the company’s Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles hubs would be suspended until April 24. Flights from Los Angeles to Hong Kong were expected to resume the same day. Flights between Dallas and Hong Kong were expected to resume April 23.

WHO: Vaccine for coronavirus could be ready in 18 months

Update 12:05 p.m. EST Feb. 11: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said Tuesday that a vaccine targeting the coronavirus could be ready in 18 months, according to Reuters.

“So, we have to do everything today using available weapons,” he said.

Tedros on Tuesday asked that countries be “as aggressive as possible” in the fight against COVID-19.

“If the world doesn’t want to wake up and consider the virus as public enemy number one, I don’t think we will learn from our lessons,” he said, according to The Guardian. “We are still in containment strategy and should not allow the virus to have a space to have local transmission.”

Death toll rises to 1,018

Update 10:45 a.m. EST Feb. 11: The World Health Organization said just over 42,700 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in China as of 6 a.m. Geneva time Tuesday. Nearly 400 cases have been confirmed in two dozen other countries.

Coronavirus has killed more than 1,017 people in China and one person in the Philippines, according to health officials.

WHO names new coronavirus outbreak

Update 10:40 a.m. EST Feb. 11: The World Health Organization on Tuesday announced the name for the deadly new coronavirus: Covid-19.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said the new name was aimed at preventing “the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing.”

Singapore confirms 2 more coronavirus cases

Update 9:40 a.m. EST Feb. 11: Officials with Singapore’s Ministry of Health said Tuesday that two new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the country, bringing the total number of cases there to 47.

Health officials said the new cases involved a 35-year-old Singapore permanent resident and a 39-year-old Bangladesh national, neither of whom had recently traveled to China. Both new patients were being treated in isolation.

Coronavirus a ‘very grave threat’ for world, WHO director-general says

Update 8:45 a.m. EST Feb. 11: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, called the 2019 novel coronavirus “a very grave threat" Tuesday. 

His comments came at the start of the global research and innovation forum aimed at addressing the coronavirus.

Last week, Tedros told a WHO executive committee that “panic and fear” was the biggest threat posed by the coronavirus, according to The Washington Post. At the time, only 146 cases of coronavirus had been reported outside China.

As of Monday, WHO officials said 319 people in 24 countries had been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

First case of coronavirus reported in San Diego 

Update 8:52 p.m. EST Feb. 10: Officials in San Diego have confirmed its first case of coronavirus in the Southern California city, KGTV reported.

A Centers for Disease Control spokesman confirmed Monday evening that an individual taken to the University of California at San Diego Health hospital was infected with the virus, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.K

KGTV, citing an anonymous source, said the patient was aboard the first flight from Wuhan, China, to Miramar. It was unclear whether the adult patient was a man or woman, the television station reported.

China reports 1,011 deaths, including 103 Monday

Update 7:07 p.m. EST Feb. 10: Officials with China’s Hubei health authority now report 1,011 dead, including 103 on Monday, The Washington Post reported. There have been about 42,000 cases of coronavirus, with more than 6,000 patients in critical condition, authorities told the newspaper.

British businessman may have spread coronavirus to people in 3 countries

Update 3:10 p.m. EST Feb. 10: Authorities are investigating reports that a British businessman might have spread coronavirus to several Britons in three countries, according to multiple reports.

The man, who was not identified, is believed to have been exposed to coronavirus during a sales conference last month in Singapore, The Guardian reported. Following the conference, the man traveled to France and then back to the U.K., according to the newspaper.

The man is suspected of being what scientists call a “super spreader,” a person who spreads a disease at a faster rate than the average.

Trump: People think coronavirus threat will end in April

Update 12:25 p.m. EST Feb. 10: President Donald Trump claimed without evidence that people believe the deadly 2019 novel coronavirus “will go away in April.”

“A lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat,” Trump said Monday during an address of governors held at the White House. “Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape though.”

Previously, Trump said on Twitter that Chinese President Xi Jinping was hopeful that he would successfully counterattack the coronavirus, “especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.”

Since the coronavirus was first detected late last year in Wuhan, China, more than 40,500 cases of the virus have been confirmed globally. An overwhelming number of the cases were reported in China, where 909 people have died of the disease as of Monday morning, according to the World Health Organization. One person has died of coronavirus in the Philippines, health officials said.

In the U.S., a dozen people have been confirmed as having been infected with coronavirus: six in California, two in Illinois, one in Massachusetts, one in Arizona, one in Washington and one in Wisconsin.

WHO: 910 killed, 40,500 sickened by coronavirus

Update 10:30 a.m. EST Feb. 10: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said Monday that health officials are continuing to see a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases with 99% of illnesses being reported in China.

About 2% of the cases have proved deadly, he said.

According to WHO, more than 40,500 cases so coronavirus have been confirmed globally as of 6 a.m. local time (12 a.m. EST). A majority of those -- 40,235 -- were reported in China, where 909 people have died of the virus. Officials said 319 cases were confirmed in 24 other countries, including the Philippines, where one person died last week.

Death toll hits 908

The death toll in mainland China has risen to 908 with more than 40,000 cases diagnosed, NBC News reported. Chinese officials said of the 40,000 diagnosed with the coronavirus, 27 of them are foreigners and two have died. There are another 23,589 possible cases of the illness, NBC News reported.

On Sunday, 97 people died in China from the virus, the biggest daily death toll, The New York Times reported.

The number of those killed by the virus has passed the number of people killed in the 2002-2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak. At that time, 774 people died from SARS, The Associated Press reported.

Despite the number of people who died, officials are hopeful, since, for more than 10 days, the number of people recovering is higher than those who have died, the Times reported.

Return to work

As the numbers continue to climb, workers return to their jobs after the extended Lunar New Year holiday that kept many people home. Shoppers are also heading back to markets and stores despite the threat, the AP reported.

They are taking precautions of wearing face masks as they go about their day.

“We just need to have a little more sense of self-protection,” Iris Ke told the AP. “Life goes on anyway. How come we stop going outside or stop working simply because of fear of disease? We can’t do that.”

Andy Wong/AP
An electronic display board showing a precautionary notice of the coronavirus at a deserted upscale shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. China's virus death toll on Sunday have surpassed the number of fatalities in the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic, but fewer new cases were reported in a possible sign its spread may be slowing as other nations step up efforts to block the disease. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
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Coronavirus: Death toll surpasses 900 in China, 40,000 people diagnosed with virus (live updates)

Photo Credit: Andy Wong/AP
An electronic display board showing a precautionary notice of the coronavirus at a deserted upscale shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. China's virus death toll on Sunday have surpassed the number of fatalities in the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic, but fewer new cases were reported in a possible sign its spread may be slowing as other nations step up efforts to block the disease. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

But business is still slow, with some shop owners saying it’s about half as busy as normal.

China’s leader Xi Jinping made an appearance at a hospital and government offices in Beijing, about five miles north of his residence in the Forbidden City, The New York Times reported. He made no public statement during the appearance.

He also had a video conference with workers at a hospital in Wuhan, the town that is ground zero for the illness, the Times reported.

There are rules that have been established to help stop the spread. In some areas, business owners must know if their employees have traveled to areas where there are large outbreak numbers. They’re also being told by the government to check the workers’ temperatures and have hand-washing protocols, the Times reported.

And despite the return to normalcy, some business continues to be on hold. Airbnb has suspended all bookings in Beijing amid the outbreak, CNN reported.

Illness continues to spread outside China

A cruise ship is quarantined in Yokohama, Japan. There were 70 cases of coronavirus on the Diamond Princess at the time of the quarantine, but that number has increased, with another 66 people testing positive, the AP reported. That brings the number up to 136 confirmed cases, the Times reported.

Japanese government officials may test all 3,711 passengers and crew on board. They’re also trying to get medicine to more than 600 passengers who have requested it, the AP reported.

Eugene Hoshiko/AP
The quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess is anchored in the Yokohama Port Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. Japan on Saturday reported three more cases of the coronavirus aboard the Diamond Princess for a total of 64 . There are 3,700 passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess who must remain on board for 14 days. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
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Coronavirus: Death toll surpasses 900 in China, 40,000 people diagnosed with virus (live updates)

Photo Credit: Eugene Hoshiko/AP
The quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess is anchored in the Yokohama Port Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. Japan on Saturday reported three more cases of the coronavirus aboard the Diamond Princess for a total of 64 . There are 3,700 passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess who must remain on board for 14 days. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

There are 11 Americans among those who have tested positive on the Diamond Princess, The Washington Post reported.

Four more patients in England have tested positive, bringing the total there to eight, officials in the UK said. The newest diagnosis was from people who had contact with others who were diagnosed with the virus. The country’s department of health said that people diagnosed with coronavirus could be forcibly quarantined. Two hospitals have been set up as isolation facilities, the AP reported.

In the United States, there are 12 confirmed cases, CNN reported. And flights from China are going to only 11 airports in the U.S., the AP reported.

So far, there are six confirmed cases in California, two in Illinois and one each in Massachusetts, Washington, Wisconsin, and Arizona, CNN reported.

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Local News

  • The Clarke County School District is looking for volunteers to serve on Local School Governance Teams and on the District’s Parent Advisory Board. Deadline to apply is March 16.From the Clarke Co School District…   — The Clarke County School District is inviting community members to “bring their hands and hearts to our work,” by applying to join one of two governance and feedback bodies operating at all 21 CCSD schools. Parents, community members, faith leaders, and business representatives are encouraged to apply to serve on Local School Governance Teams (LSGTs). These governance bodies work with school leaders to set school goals, develop plans, help design strategies to boost student learning, and serve as a bridge to the full school community. Each school has three “Community Seats,” which may be filled by anyone in the community, regardless of where the school is located or where the community member resides in Clarke County. Please click here for more information on LSGTs. The Parent Advisory Board (PAB) promotes the discussion and development of a shared vision of the educational needs of all students in the Clarke County School District. PAB provides a forum for share opinions and ideas with parents, the school district administration, and the Clarke County Board of Education. Each school seeks two parents from its community to serve on PAB. The group meets monthly to learn about district-wide issues and programs and offer advice and feedback to the Superintendent. Please click here for more information on the PAB. Click here for the candidate form (for both LSGT and PAB). The deadline to apply is March 16, 2020. LSGT and PAB representatives will be chosen in a school-wide election, online election process managed by the Office of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships. Community Information Sessions will be held March 2nd and 16th from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the Athens Community Career Academy. For more information, please contact Fenwick Broyard, Community Support Specialist at broyardf@clarke.k12.ga.us, or 706-546-7721, ext. 20741.
  • A $240,000 gift from the Thomas and Bernice Irvin Foundation will help fund a new home for Piedmont College’s School of Education. The $2.5 million project is underway and includes the complete renovation of Nielsen Hall, a long-standing 17,000-square-foot building on the Demorest campus’s quad.    From Piedmont College… A native of Hall County and long-time resident of Habersham County, Thomas Irvin was a public servant who was first elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 1962. He served as Georgia’s Commissioner of Agriculture from 1969 to 2011. No one in Georgia has held a state-wide office longer. A champion of education, Irvin served as a trustee for several colleges, Piedmont among them. The Irvin Foundation was incorporated in 1997 to support the couple’s charitable causes. Thomas and Bernice Frady Irvin died in 2017 and 2014, respectively. “Both of my parents were advocates of education, and they had a lot of affection for Piedmont College,” said James Irvin, the couple’s oldest son, a Toccoa attorney and trustee of the foundation. “This gift aligns perfectly with their values.” The School of Education, the college’s largest single academic unit, includes almost 1,400 majors and is currently housed on the ground floor of the Arrendale Library. It offers the largest graduate program for teacher education in the state and is the second-highest producer of new teachers annually among all colleges and universities in Georgia.   “Since our founding in 1897, Piedmont has been known for training teachers,” said Piedmont College President James F. Mellichamp. “Education is our signature program, and now it will have a home that reflects its prestige and history. We offer our enduring thanks to the Irvin Family for helping with this important project.”   When completed this fall, the building will be dedicated as the Charles and Catherine Sewell Center for Teacher Education.
  • The Elbert Memorial Hospital Authority votes to take out a 90-day loan of up to $500,000. Money from Northeast Georgia Bank will help the hospital in Elberton continue operations while awaiting the first Medicare reimbursements under a new Critical Access Hospital designation. There is a new economic development director for Banks County, and he will come to Homer from Canada: Richard Brooks is an engineer from Ontario. He’s expected to begin his new job after he is officially hired by Banks County Commissioners next month.  The Hall County town of Oakwood is the market for a manager: Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown is leaving after 16 years, taking a job with the Georgia Municipal Association. 
  • Four players scored in double figures, led by 22 points from junior center Jenna Staiti, but it was not enough as the Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team fell to No. 15-ranked Kentucky, 88-77, Thursday at Memorial Coliseum.    Staiti scored in double figures for the sixth-straight game and for the seventh time in the last eight matchups. The Cumming, Ga., native also hauled in eight boards in the loss.    Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard scored 25 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, to pace her team.    The Wildcats hit 20-of-21 from the free-throw line, compared to just a 12-of-20 effort from the Lady Bulldogs. Kentucky also made 12 3-pointers in the win.    “What’s frustrating is that if we score 77 points in a game, you expect to win,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “In the first and second quarters, we turned Kentucky loose and gave up way too many easy looks. Rhyne Howard is one of the best players in the nation and credit her for playing a great game tonight.”   In a fast-paced opening stanza, Gabby Connally led off with a 3-pointer from the left corner. Kentucky’s Howard and KeKe McKinney each added one of their own to give the Wildcats an early 10-9 lead.    Kentucky hit a barrage of 3-pointers with five in the first 10 minutes, forcing Georgia to call a timeout. Staiti then ended the quarter with seven-straight points to keep the Lady Bulldogs close, down 22-20 at the end of one.    The Wildcats finished the opening half with 10 made 3-point baskets, but the combination of Staiti and Connally kept Georgia in the game and held the damage to a minimum. Staiti finished the first 20 minutes with 15 points, while Connally added nine. Still, Kentucky led 53-46 at intermission.    The offensive explosion quieted down in the second half as neither team could reach the 20-point mark in the third quarter. Howard, Kentucky’s leading scorer and All-American, was on the bench for most of the third frame after she picked up her third foul.    Georgia stayed within striking distance, with Kentucky leading 67-60 going into the fourth quarter.    Howard came off the bench and scored 13 of her team’s 21 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Wildcats to the win.    The Lady Bulldogs return home to host Florida on Senior Day at 1:10 p.m. ET this Sunday.   
  • A high-speed police chase ends with the arrest of two people on drug and weapons charges: it happened on I-20 in Greene County. Ajee Williams is 22 years old; Keyshawn Guess is 24. Both are from Columbia South Carolina.    Accused methamphetamine traffickers are arrested in Elberton: the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office says 32 year-old Beau Bailey and 55 year-old Randy Mattox were charged after meth was found during a traffic stop.    A father and son from Maysville have spent their week in the Jackson County jail: Lewis Hall is 64 years old; Christopher Hall is 46. They are facing drug charges after their arrests on marijuana and methamphetamine possession charges.    Joshua Schultz and his wife Jamie were, at last report, still in the Hall County jail: they were arrested earlier this week after police raided their home in Gainesville. Hall County drug agents say they found dozens of firearms and $80,000 worth of drugs that included marijuana and prescription narcotics.  An investigation that began with the Sheriff’s Office in Hall County ends with an arrest in Troup County: police in LaGrange have leveled child porn charges against 32 year-old Charles Dye Jr.

Bulldog News

  • INDIANAPOLIS J.R. Reed's time at Georgia has come and gone, but the departing 2019 team captain made it clear the Bulldogs still have plenty of household names. 'You guys saw it out there in the Sugar Bowl, there was no drop-off,' Reed said at the Indianapolis Convention Center on Friday during his podium interview at the NFL combine. 'Those guys prepared, I'd taught those guys how to watch film, just the rules to follow,' Reed said. 'The standard has been set in the defensive room, so the standard does not change at all.' Georgia brings back nine of the 11 starters from the Sugar Bowl team that beat Baylor 26-14. The Bulldogs' defense led the nation in 2019 in run defense and scoring defense, and it ranked No. 3 in total defense and No. 8 in pass efficiency defense. WATCH Richard LeCounte: New leadership role is bigger than football UGA defensive coordinator Dan Lanning referred to it as the 'No-Name Defense' in the days leading up to the win over the Bears in New Orleans. Reed said Georgia will likely need a new nickname for its defense with so many players on the verge of break-out seasons. 'The net defensive star, if he's not already a star, is Richard LeCounte,' Reed said. 'After him, you have Azeez Ojulari, and a bunch of guys that are going to step up. RELATED: Azeez Ojulari semifinalist for FWAA Freshman of the Year 'You've got a great corner in Tyson Campbell, Eric Stokes, Malik Herring and Monty Rice,' he said. 'I don't think it's going to be a no-name defense any more.' RELATED: Georgia football DC Dan Lanning explains No-Name Defense' moniker Reed, meanwhile, is intent on making a name for himself in Indianapolis this weekend after his draft stock inexplicably plunged this season. 'I don't know why expectations have changed, they have changed in my mind,' said Reed, who contemplated turning pro after his junior season. 'I truly, firmly, know I'm the best safety here; I can play in the box, I can play the middle of the field, I can come down and cover your best tight end, whatever you want me to do in that secondary, I can do.' Reed finished fourth on the team with 54 tackles, despite missing the Sugar Bowl while recovering from a turf toe ailment that cropped up during the bowl preparation in Athens. Reed is healthy now, and he's expecting to open some eyes with his physical testing and interviews. 'I've seen what some people think I'm going to test, and I'm going to blow those things out of the water,' Reed said. 'Just show a lot of people I'm a lot better than what they think I am, and a lot more athletic.' Reed indicated he's not the only one the NFL talent evaluators seem to be underestimating. 'We had one of the best defenses in the nation,' Reed said, before referencing some of the UGA seniors who didn't get NFL combine invites. RELATED: Top-notch Georgia football defense shut out on AP All-SEC first team 'We've got Tyler Clark missing, Tae Crowder missing, you've got Michael Barnett, guys like that that played a pivotal role in our defense. 'They're going to shock the world, they're going to work hard, they're going to do a great job at their pro day, and I believe in all of them.' Georgia is expected to hold its NFL pro day on March 18, with the NFL draft scheduled April 23-25 in Las Vegas. DawgNation Georgia at NFL combine Georgia football Mauler' Solomon Kindley on Atlanta Falcons radar Andrew Thomas in first-class form at NFL combine How Jake Fromm is handling NFL combine spotlight Isaiah Wilson sheds light on 2020 Georgia O-Line Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason reunite anf NFL combine Lawence Cager message at NFL combine high ceiling' D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout Brian Herrien shares Nick Chubb story at NFL combine Is Jake Fromm hand size really a thing? The post WATCH J.R. Reed: Georgia football defense won't be No-Name' unit much longer appeared first on DawgNation.
  • INDIANAPOLIS Solomon Kindley says the Atlanta Falcons like his game, and he's ready to show them even more in the Friday workouts at the NFL combine. Kindley, who measured in at 6-foot-3 and a trimmed down 336 pounds, could see his draft stock take a jump now that he's healthy. 'I'm really ready to show them who I am and what I'm about,' Kindley said at his podium interview at the Indianapolis Convention this week. Kindley suffered an injured ankle in the Bulldogs 23-17 win over Notre Dame on Sept. 21 and missed three starts before being cleared to play. 'It really didn't feel right none of this season,' Kindley revealed. 'I played through the bowl game with a jacked up foot. So when I went to Pensacola (Fla., to train), I tried to get a lot of rehab and do things like that.' Kindley cut nine pounds off the 345 he played at this season, clearly a step slower than he was during a healthy sophomore campaign in 2018. Kindley said he's known for a while he was going to turn professional after his junior season. 'I wasn't close (to returning), to be honest, I already knew I was going to leave,' Kindley said. 'I felt like all I had to do was play pretty good, and the rest was history.' The Sugar Bowl, Kindley said, was a chance to close out his Georgia career in the right way. 'During the bowl game, I knew I was going pro,' Kindley said. 'The reason I wanted to play in that game was I wanted to end on a good note, because we'd lost to LSU in the SEC Championship. 'And I wanted to play with my brothers, with Trey (Hill) and George Pickens, because they're gonna be a really good team this year. I wanted to have one more hard-fought game with them boys.' Kindley said his talk with Atlanta went well. 'They say they like how I play, love how I play,' Kindley said. 'They say I'm a mauler, they love my game, and I have an informal (interview) with them. Kindley said he's also met with Green Bay, Seattle, Arizona, Carolina, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Jacksonville. The offensive line workouts begin at 4 p.m. on Friday (TV: NFL Network). Georgia offensive tackles Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson will take part in the workouts, as will tailbacks D'Andre Swift and Brian Herrien. Georgia OG Solomon Kindley DawgNation Georgia in NFL Draft Andrew Thomas in first-class form at NFL combine How Jake Fromm is handling NFL combine spotlight Isaiah Wilson sheds light on 2020 Georgia O-Line Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason reunite anf NFL combine Lawence Cager message at NFL combine high ceiling' Why Jake Fromm is not for everybody, per NFL Network analyst D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout Brian Herrien shares Nick Chubb story at NFL combine Is Jake Fromm hand size really a thing? The post WATCH: Georgia offensive line mauler' Solomon Kindley on Atlanta Falcons radar appeared first on DawgNation.
  • INDIANAPOLIS Lawrence Cager earned a place in Georgia-Florida history last season with his 7-catch, 132-yard performance, but he wasn't the only graduate transfer to have a big day. Florida defensive lineman Jonathan Greenard, who transferred from Louisville, made the most of his one shot at the Bulldogs with a team-high 9 tackles in Georgia's 24-17 win over the Gators. RELATED: 3 things from Georgia's win over Florida 'The Georgia game was crazy, that environment there, been in Jacksonville,' Greenard said at his NFL combine podium interview on Thursday. 'I played there in a bowl game, but seeing everything in the rivalry I grew up in, being from Georgia, I was a Florida fan coming up. 'It was mind-boggling, one of the most intense games.' Greenard, from Hiram, Ga., was a 3-star prospect coming out of high school, and 247Sports reported Kentucky and Louisville were his only two offers coming out of high school. But Greenard showed his worth against the Bulldogs, showing grit and hustle throughout the afternoon in his first game back from a high ankle sprain that had sidelined him the previous three weeks. 'I wanted to win that game so bad, I didn't want to come off the field,' Greenard said. 'Being out there, making hustle plays, finishing plays even while being dog tired, I tried to do everything in my power to make sure we won that game, but obviously we game up short.' Greenard tipped his cap to Jake Fromm, asked to assess the outgoing Georgia quarterback. 'Jake Fromm is one of those (guys) , he doesn't get rattled in the pocket, he stands tall in the pocket, obviously, if I had an offensive line like, that I would definitely be standing tall too,' Greenard said. 'But he controls the game, he never gets rattled, stays within himself, and he understands what he possesses as a player and doesn't do too much. 'He's always going to keep you guessing. If he needs to tuck it and run, he'll do that a bit. But he's a very smart guy. He's one oft he best quarterbacks I played against, and I played against the top quarterbacks.' Greenard also provided Georgia fans with an idea of the type of challenge Georgia will face in the 2020 season-opening game against Virginia on Monday, Sept. 7 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 'Virginia, they are a hard-working team, that's one thing that kept them in the game against us,' Greenard said, referring to Florida's 36-28 Orange Bowl win over the Cavaliers. 'Even when I was at Louisville, it was the same exact way, they play their asses off, and they always want to continue to make sure they are in the game. ' And the coach (Bronco Mendenhall) , with what they are doing over there, they have really good program and guys who are willing to buy in. When you have those things, it's really tough to beat them.' Florida DL Jonathan Greenard DawgNation Georgia in NFL Draft Andrew Thomas in first-class form at NFL combine How Jake Fromm is handling NFL combine spotlight Isaiah Wilson sheds light on 2020 Georgia O-Line Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason reunite anf NFL combine Lawence Cager message at NFL combine high ceiling' Why Jake Fromm is not for everybody, per NFL Network analyst D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout Brian Herrien shares Nick Chubb story at NFL combine Is Jake Fromm hand size really a thing? The post WATCH Florida's Jonathan Greenard: laments Georgia loss, warns Virginia opener will be tough appeared first on DawgNation.
  • INDIANAPOLIS Jake Fromm answered some questions at the NFL combine this week, but Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner was among those not completely convinced. Warner said during the quarterback-receiver throwing session on Thursday that he still wonders about Fromm's arm strength and physicality. 'I've been watching him down here, some of those questions about arm strength,being able to really pop the ball out,' Warner said on the NFL Network telecast of the otherwise closed workout. 'It comes to pass when you are watching him in person that you still wonder, Is there enough there?' ' Fromm's arm strength was a question for some entering the NFL combine, according to ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. RELATED: Mel Kiper Jr. calls Jake Fromm arm strength into question 'Now, you can make up for some of that with his anticipation and some things that you see on tape,' Warner said. 'But I also believe there is also a floor of the type of physical ability that you have to be to be one of those upper-echelon quarterbacks in the NFL. 'I'm still questioning whether he has that or not.' Fromm and Jacob Eason were splitting repetitions in Lucas Oil Stadium, but it was nothing like old times in Athens, Ga. Fromm and Eason, teammates at Georgia in 2017 before Eason transferred to Washington, were among the handful of quarterbacks throwing. The drills were held in alphabetical order, so Eason went first followed by Fromm. Celebrated LSU quarterback Joe Burrow elected not to work out, and Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa is still recovering from the season-ending hip surgery he underwent Nov. 18. NFL Network analyst Charles Davis suggested that 'they didn't do Fromm any favors because of the way Easton throws the football.' Fromm reportedly shook it off, telling another NFL Network reporter 'I think it's awesome.' Fromm said from the onset he was just interested in doing his best. 'I'm not the tallest, not the fastest, I know I'n not going out and run any 4.2s, but really just hone in and be the best I can,' Fromm said. 'I want to be as quick as possible and throw the ball around as good as I can..' Fromm's 40 times were reported on TV as 5.01 seconds and 5.04. Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts set the quarterbacks' bar with 40 times of 4.64 and 4.59. Eason ran duplicate 4.90 times, per the telecast. Fromm had predicted before the combine he would run a 4.9 and was aiming for a 4.8. No one, however, has any illusions that Fromm can provide a serious running threat. Fromm broad jumped 9 feet, 3 inches (9th of the 11 quarterbacks who tested in the drill) and had a 30-inch vertical jump (8th of 11 quarterbacks). But Fromm's performances in the throwing drills and interviews were deemed much more important. RELATED: Fromm ready to throw, some already believe in him NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah noted that Fromm showcased his arm strength early at the start of the 'over the shoulder' throw drill. 'The ball that was overthrown was Jake Fromm' Jeremiah said. 'The question was arm strength, so if you're Jake Fromm, you're not under-throwing anything out here.' Fromm's throws were accurate, other than the early overthrow. Jeremiah suggested Fromm projected to teams in the South, the West Coast, or those who play inside. 'I look at a team like the Atlanta Falcons to try to get somebody to sit behind Matt Ryan for a couple years, maybe with a payoff down the road,' Jeremiah said. 'I would imagine in that state, it would be a popular pick.' Not everyone, however, sees Fromm the same. Senior Bowl executive director and former New England and Seattle NFL scout studied Fromm before doing combine analysis for ESPN this week. 'He doesn't have the size or the arm strength of a Justin Herbert, but his arm is stronger than I gave it credit for,' Nagy said. 'He's such a quick processor. To watch this guy go through his progressions, he knows exactly where to go with the football. There's no delay when he goes from one, to two, to three. 'Jake is so smooth with his eyes, so decisive, he's very accurate. He has a great feel in the pocket, he's mobile enough.' Fromm will meet with and work out for individual teams, and he could choose to throw again at Georgia's Pro Day in Athens in mid-March. DawgNation Georgia in NFL Draft Andrew Thomas in first-class form at NFL combine How Jake Fromm is handling NFL combine spotlight Isaiah Wilson sheds light on 2020 Georgia O-Line Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason reunite anf NFL combine Lawence Cager message at NFL combine high ceiling' Why Jake Fromm is not for everybody, per NFL Network analyst D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout Brian Herrien shares Nick Chubb story at NFL combine Is Jake Fromm hand size really a thing? The post Jake Fromm's NFL combine performance: Is there enough there?' appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That's what the Intel brings. This entry introduces the DawgNation Daily reader to 5-star LB Smael Mondon Jr. of Paulding County High School in Northwest Georgia. The Smael Mondon Jr. story won't read like a lot of others in this space. This narrative won't dwell on his 5-star status. We won't hover over his slot on the 247Sports Composite as the nation's No. 2 OLB and No. 23 overall prospect for the 2021 cycle. The thinking here is that Mondon is more uncommon than even those laurels might suggest. The best play on his highlight tape might be that early jet sweep, but that's not the biggest reason why. The Paulding County program does weaponize its best athlete on both sides of the ball.It was quite impressive to see the 6-foot-3, 218-pounder tearing loose around the edge. Flashing that 11.1 speed in the 100 as a ballcarrier for his Patriots. The fact he is a triple jumper who now resets his school record yearly raises eyebrows, too. Mondon has even set his eyes on soaring 48 to 49 feet this spring. According to Milesplit.com, the state record for that event is at 53 feet and 9.25 inches. If Mondon soars 49 feet this year as a junior, that will be something. An effort like that would have won the state title in Georgia in every classification last spring except for his own Class 5A. That winning distance was 50 feet, 4 inches. We should all shake our heads at the fact UGA has its eyes on a linebacker who can run an 11.1 in the 100 meters and do so at 218 pounds who also has set his eyes on a 49-feet effort in the triple jump. Mondon is just different and that's just the tip of it. The quick-hit things to know about Smael Mondon Jr. Mondon, in stark contrast to his peers, does not attend prospect camps. He's never been to one. He has no plans to change that, either. He will not be at The Opening regional. Nor any of the Under Armour camps. Or any of the 7-on-7 showcases where the nation's elite annually add more fame to their games each spring. 'That's just not Smael,' Paulding County coach Van Spence said. 'He's just not into that. He's not about that. He's not into any of that fluff. He'll go to these schools and check out all their facilities. He'll even nod his head. But that's just not what he's about or what he is looking for.' The fact that Mondon has not appeared in any of those prospect showcase events AND is still a 5-star recruit serves as a fitting testament to his skill set. For those that scan this space for recruiting juice, let's take a minute to address the basic food groups. Mondon has just one college visit planned as of right now. That will be an unofficial visit on March 27-28 to check out Oklahoma. Lincoln Riley and inside linebackers coach Brian Odom have done a great job recruiting him so far. The Florida Gators, specifically inside linebackers coach Christian Robinson, should feel the same way. Robinson, a former Georgia linebacker, has connected with the Paulding County staff and Mondon on a personal level. Mondon does not plan to make his recruiting decision anytime soon. It might not even be during his senior season. Why does he want to do that? 'It will probably be doneafter my senior year,' he said. 'I don't want torush anything and I don't want to do it in the middle of the season. It will take attention away from theactualseason. I just want to befocused on the actual football season and make mydecision after the season.' Look for him to take his official visits during the fall. Mondon has yet to feel at liberty in paring down his list of schools. But it certainly sounds like schools like Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Oklahoma have done a good job of recruiting him up to this point. Tennessee is also in the mix here. His grade-point average rests in the 3.6-to-3.7 range and has already qualified. Stanford actually offered. Mondon will miss track season during his senior year. The plan is for him to graduate early in December and enroll with his future team in January of 2021. He's rated as an LB, but the majority of the schools after him see him as an inside linebacker, including Georgia. The plans for now calls for him to be a business major as he enters college. What is he looking for? 'It is not really like a particular recipe,' he said. 'It is just like the relationship with coaches, the team culture and the direction the program is going in.' What is the best thing he likes about Georgia right now? 'I like the direction the program is going in,' Mondon said. 'I feel like in the next couple of years they are going to get a national championship for sure.' The two really good stories about Smael Mondon Jr. Paulding County does not pop out elite prospects. The staff at Paulding County could not recall the last time one of their own had an offer from UGA. They seem far more certain that Mondon is the first Patriot to hold offers from programs like Oklahoma and Stanford. The Georgia High School Football Historians Association tracks the Patriots with a .398 winning percentage over the school's history. When Mondon was a sophomore, his Patriots were slumping. They were forced to play 17 sophomores in key or starting roles. It led to an 0-6 start. There was a moment after a 54-20 loss to Kell that stands out. When a school like Paulding has a player like Mondon, it doesn't just attract the attention of college recruiters. Other high school programs take notice, too. It is not news to note here that coveted high school players frequently make bona fide moves per GHSA rules from one program to another. It happens all the time.With Mondon, there was a worry that the Patriots might not be able to keep him. 'Every was worried or assuming I was going to transfer out being that I was a big-time guy' and stuff like that,' Mondon said. He chose the night of a 34-point loss to put the matter to rest.When he saw Spence after the game, he thought he might have looked down while doing some post-game laundry or another matter. 'Coach Spence actually cares about his players,' he said. 'That's why I wanted to stay with him.' So he spoke up. 'I told him I wasn't going to leave or anything like that,' Mondon said. 'I was going to stay in it with him and build this program. I was just going to let my coach know that as long as he was in it here, I was going to be here. I love the people here. These are the people I grew up with. It makes football a lot more fun when you see the people around you that you know and care about have success and do well.' 'When I play football, I want to play surrounded by people that I love and care about. So that will help me play even harder. I wouldn't want to play with anybody else.' Spence had been there to support him. 'In the world of high school recruiting, I told Smael that I get it' and we played 17 sophomores last year and it was very difficult,' he said. 'I said people are going to come to you and are going to want you to go there. But I told him that all of the goals you want for you high school career and heading off to college can be attained here. We're here to support you and to help you. I know it happens with all that other stuff though because I have seen it.' Mondon's reassurance that night certainly meant a lot. 'He just said that he wasn't going anywhere and that he loves this place,' Spence said. 'He said that just after we just got beat bad. He came up and told me that. I told him that I appreciated that and I will probably always appreciate that.' Mondon has a bandanna collection. He has more than 20 and would sometimes tie them up and wear them as a belt.He cops to a keen fashion eye. The bandannas were big for him during his junior season. Not so much any more. But he wore one of those to the weight room last year. He also brought one for Spence. He put it on and they both had their bandannas on for that day's workout. He's named after his father. His father is of French descent, but he said their family roots are from the Ivory Coast in Western Africa. 'He was supposed to be named Ishmael but on my dad's birth certificate they didn't put the I' on it so it is just Smael,' Mondon said. 'That's what came off his birth certificate so they just named me after it.' He wanted to play soccer growing up, but the sign-up period was closed. 'They only thing left was football,' he said. 'So I played that. Now, I just love the sport.' The things that Georgia loves about Smael Mondon Jr. Mondon will play both ways for the Patriots. He is a running back and a blocking back for his squad. He will also play linebacker and catch the ball out of the backfield. Paulding County even had packages with him at quarterback last fall. A typical game will be somewhere around 80 yards and eight tackles. He'll log 90-to-100 snaps most nights, butthere's more. That is kind of how it always seems to be with this guy. 'He might be one of the smartest football players that I have been around in the 19 years I've been doing this,' Spence said last fall. 'It has actually gotten to the point where everybody is so dependent of him and how much he lines us up all around the ball.' Paulding crated a 'Muzzle Monday' of sorts for Mondon. Those would be the defensive practice periods when he was not allowed to speak. 'He was the guy making all the adjustments for us because he knew where every single person on the field had to go and what they were supposed to be doing from the front end to the back end,' Spence said. 'We were like Smael just be quiet because everyone else has to know if you are not in there' and we eventually just took him off the field so they could show us they knew it, too.' 'He is such a student of the game. He's a really smart person and just a really good kid.' Let's recap all of this with a quick minute: Explosiveness. Loyalty. Football IQ. Track standout. Size. Speed. Playing all over the field. He will be a four-year starter at PCHS. He can lead his team in tackles and rushing yards on any given night. When he carries the ball, he outruns theangles that defenders have on him while breaking big plays. He does that all the time. Is there any reason why he is such a priority for Georgia in the 2021 class? 'Georgia has done a phenomenal job of recruiting him,' Spence said 'When they started to recruit him, they wanted to get to know him. They wanted to get to know the kid. To get to know all those things that make him such a good kid.' Mondon has been to Georgia at least five times, including last month for a 'Junior Day' event. Those trips will include visits for the Auburn game in 2018 and the season opener last fall. Glenn Schumann has been recruiting him for some time now. He's keyed in on all the things that Mondon brings to the table. 'Just like athletic linebackers that can run,' Mondon said. 'That can help with the pass and help cover the running back.' The post Nation's No. 2 LB Smael Mondon Jr. sees national championship' future for Georgia appeared first on DawgNation.