Floyd County added seven more confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday, bringing the total to 502.
After a period of slow growth, the county is joining the rest of the state, nation and world in marking sharper increases. Over the past seven days Floyd has seen 76 new cases of those infected with the novel coronavirus.
The number of people hospitalized with the disease also is ticking back up, with 13 currently being treated in local medical centers. That number is up three from Friday. Overall, COVID-19 has put 54 local residents in the hospital since the Georgia Department of Health began tracking cases.
One number that has stayed the same for a while has been deaths locally. There have been 15 deaths reported, but none since May 26.
Georgia had 79,417 confirmed cases as of Monday, an increase of over 2,000 cases overnight, following a similar rise the day prior. Six more people died — bringing the total to 2,784 fatalities — and 22 more were hospitalized.
The state has seen spikes in the number of new cases since reopening, and the number of cases has more than doubled since the shelter in place order was lifted for all but the most vulnerable populations.
When the order was issued by Gov. Brian Kemp on April 2 there had been 10,811 cases and 302 deaths reported. When the state was reopened on May 1 there were 31,273 cases and 1,458 deaths.
Free tests are available at West Rome Baptist Church, 914 Shorter Ave., and a number of other sites around Georgia. Visit the DPH website for times and locations.
U.S. has highest death toll in the world
The Associated Press reported that the number of confirmed virus cases globally has topped 10 million.
Worldwide confirmed coronavirus infections hit the 10 million mark Sunday as voters in Poland and France went to the polls for virus-delayed elections.
New clusters of cases at a Swiss nightclub and in the central English city of Leicester showed that the virus was still circulating widely in Europe, though not with the rapidly growing infection rate seen in parts of the U.S., Latin America and India.
Wearing mandatory masks, social distancing in lines and carrying their own pens to sign voting registers, French voters cast ballots in a second round of municipal elections. Poles also wore masks and used hand sanitizer, and some in virus-hit areas were told to mail in their ballots to avoid further contagion.
“I didn’t go and vote the first time around because I am elderly and I got scared,” said Fanny Barouh as she voted in a Paris school.
While concern in the U.S. has focused on big states like Texas, Arizona and Florida reporting thousands of new cases a day, rural states are also seeing infection surges, including in Kansas, where livestock outnumber people.
The U.S. handling of the outbreak has drawn concern from abroad. The European Union seems almost certain to bar Americans from traveling to the bloc in the short term as it draws up new travel rules to be announced shortly.
The infection surges prompted Vice President Mike Pence to call off campaign events in Florida and Arizona, although he will still travel to those states and to Texas this week to meet with their Republican governors. Those three governors have come under criticism for aggressively reopening their economies after virus lockdowns despite increasing infections in their states.
After confirmed daily infections in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 40,000 on Friday, Texas and Florida reversed course and closed down bars in their states again. Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey reversed himself and allowed cities and counties to require face masks in public even though he hasn’t been seen wearing one.
“This is not a sprint, this is a marathon,” said Dr. Lisa Goldberg, director of the emergency department of Tucson Medical Center in Arizona. “In fact, it’s an ultra-marathon.”
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar stressed that “the window is closing” for the U.S. to take action to effectively curb the coronavirus.
Azar pointed to a recent spike in infections, particularly in the South. He says people have “to act responsibly” by social distancing and wearing face masks, especially “in these hot zones.”
Speaking on NBC and CNN, Azar argued that the U.S. is in a better position than two months ago in fighting the virus because it is conducting more testing and has therapeutics available to treat COVID-19.
But he acknowledged that hospitalizations and deaths could increase in the next few weeks.
Globally, confirmed COVID-19 cases passed the 10 million mark and confirmed deaths neared half a million, according to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University, with the U.S., Brazil, Russia and India having the most cases. The U.S. also has the highest virus death toll in the world at over 125,000.