Grady students report on coronavirus at Athens hospitals

As part an introduction to health and medical journalism course, several Grady College students went to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center and St. Mary’s Hospital in February to learn how public health professionals were preparing for the novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19.

The rapidly evolving situation called for a complete change of plans, mid-course. Originally, the students chose health topics of interest to them, and they learned to write about medical research. However, the course evolved to focus on realtime coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, an eye-opening experience for many in the class.

“Just getting thrown in is sometimes the best way to learn,” said journalism student, Jillian Tracy.

Students spoke with hospital preparedness teams about how they planned to handle potential COVID-19 cases in Athens, and the precautions that must be taken to ensure the safety of everyone involved. They also spoke with a local resident who self-quarantined after returning from China.

Read more about their adventures in this post from Sarah Freeman, director of communication at the Grady College.