Melanie M. Bell, probate judge of Newton County announced on her Facebook page Wednesday night that she was the 7th Newton County person to test positive for COVID-19. That case was added to the list by Georgia Department of Public Health at noon on Wednesday.
Bell said she was not sharing this information to be dramatic but to share information she believed the public should know. This is the information she shared
1. We have been treating me as presumptively positive since last Wednesday when I took the test (yes it took that long to get results!) and I have been quarantined at Piedmont Newton or my home since last Monday evening. Everyone I had been in close proximity to was notified last week and have been following the recommended medical precautions. Thankfully no one, including Travis, has shown any symptoms.
2. I have never had a fever. Mine was caught because of a CT scan of my chest done in the ER.
3. I was born with asthma and that is the underlying condition that put me at risk. My asthmatic friends, please be careful and trust yourself. You know your body. I knew this was different and I took action.
4. This is NOT a bad cold! There has been incredible pain and unbelievably scary shortness of breath. I’ve battled bronchitis and pneumonia countless times, and this makes those seem like the minor leagues.
5. God is in control, and and he has blessed me with amazing family and friends. We have wanted for nothing. Your prayers for Travis and me have been felt daily. Your texts, phone calls, and messages have gotten us through dark days. Thank you!
6. Please do your part! Our medical system is overwhelmed. Please shelter in place when you are able. This is not the time to meet friends for coffee or to “just get out for a little bit.” You can save someone’s life by simply being lazy. Come on, we can all do that!
Bell was elected probate court judge in Newton County in 2017, and also serves as the Chief Magistrate of Newton County. She began her career as a law clerk to Chief Judge John M. Ott in 2000 before becoming assistant district attorney in the Alcovy Judicial Circuit in 2003 and thenpromoted to Chief Assistant District Attorney in 2013.