ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp and the state’s top health official provided an update on the state’s fight against the coronavirus Wednesday morning.
While saying that both cases and hospitalizations are down more than 60 percent from our peak over the summer, Kemp wants Georgians to be aware during fall and winter.
“We’ve been able to keep businesses open, most kids have been to return to schools and people have been able to go about their lives in a smart responsible way. That is only sustainable if we continue to do our part moving forward,” Kemp said.
Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey warned of a “Twindemic” possibly hitting Georgia - which is both COVID-19 and the flu season.
Toomey described the “Twindemic” as possibly devastating.
Kemp said Georgians should follow 4 things for the fall and winter:
- Wear a mask
- Watch your distance
- Wash your hands
- Follow guidance from public health officials
Both Toomey and Kemp urged Georgians to get their flu shots early this year.
“Everyone from 6 months to 100 needs to get a flu shot, please, this is the year to do it,” Toomey said.
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As of Tuesday afternoon, the state is currently reporting 324,650 cases and 7,229 deaths. The 7-day average of cases is 1,224.6. Georgia has conducted over 3 million COVID-19 tests with a 10% positive rate. The rolling 7-day average is 7.1% positive.
The Georgia Department of Public Health released a new report Tuesday that gives some perspective into Georgia’s COVID-19 reality. The DPH report shows the 7-day average of new cases reported in Georgia went up by 3.4% between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5.
The data also showed from the state’s peak on July 24 that the 7-day average of new cases is down by 67%. Dr. Amber Schmidtke told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington that decrease is promising.
“Most of the things that we track for the pandemic are trending down which is good," said Schmidtke, a former assistant microbiology professor at Mercer University.
The DPH report did show an increase in cases in north Georgia. Doctors say that masks and rapid testing is key.
“The tests have the potential to be a game changer because it can give results in as little as 20 minutes," Schmidtke said.
The DPH said it receive its first shipment of Abbott rapid COVID-19 tests with 207,000 antigen tests. Georgia is expected to receive 3 million tests by the end of the year.