3 metro Atlanta counties issue health alerts after nearly 3,000 new coronavirus cases confirmed

ATLANTA, Ga. — At least three Georgia counties are sounding the alarm about rising numbers of coronavirus infections ahead of the July 4th holiday weekend.

Georgia saw nearly 3,000 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, a record high, prompting DeKalb, Cobb and Douglas counties to issue public health alerts to residents.

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DeKalb County announced they are activating the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s warning system to alert residents of the “imminent threat” posed by the increasing number of cases. Residents and visitors will receive emails, voice messages and text alerts when inside DeKalb County’s borders.

DeKalb County has the state's third highest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections and 173 deaths.

“We are tracking an alarming increase in the number of COVID-19 infections in DeKalb and across the state of Georgia,” DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond said. “Extraordinary measures must be taken to ensure that our residents and visitors are aware of the imminent threat and, more importantly, how to mitigate the spread of this deadly virus.”

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Officials said they are particularly concerned about Fourth of July celebrations. Visitors to Stone Mountain will get targeted alerts and messages through the holiday weekend.

Cobb and Douglas County public health officials issued a public health alert "due to a substantial rise in daily confirmed positive COVID-19 cases," officials said.

Officials said they have evidence that the positivity rate at testing sites has surpassed 10% and that people ages 20-40 years old are being affected the most.

New data shows that minority communities are seeing higher impacts. African Americans now make up almost a third of all cases in Georgia.

Officials are urging people to take the proper precautions like wearing a mask, washing hands and avoiding large gatherings.