“This surge must be met with aggressive public mitigation inclusive of safe public options, like outdoor dining,” stated the report, dated Dec. 20. “And clear personal behavior change messages to ensure as many Americans as possible can survive to be immunized and protected from severe disease and fatalities over the ensuing weeks.”
The seven-day rolling average of confirmed and antigen-positive cases is currently about 93% greater than Georgia’s previous surge in July.
Health experts fear the country will see even higher case totals in the weeks ahead, because it’ll take time for infections triggered by holiday gatherings to appear in state totals. It typically takes a few days for people exposed to the virus to begin showing symptoms, and another few days for test results to come through.
Earlier this week, Gov. Brian Kemp urged Georgians to hold virtual holiday celebrations rather than meet in person.
“I know that many Georgians are anxious to spend time with their loved ones, and believe you me, I am as well,” the governor said at a news conference at Emory University. “But we are also pleading with Georgians to do the right thing and stay vigilant. Do not let your guard down and choose to be part of the solution and not the problem.”
The state has recorded nearly 619,000 confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases and more than 10,500 deaths since March.