Another ailing Floyd County resident succumbed to the coronavirus over the weekend, bringing the death toll to 49.
The county had logged 3,438 cases of COVID-19 as of Moday, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health daily status report. That’s an increase of 41 since Friday, but it continues a downward trend in the number of cases reported.
The two-week total was at 220, with a positivity rate of 8.4% of those tested during that period. The DPH uses the rate to track a county’s status. The department considers 10% an indicator of a COVID-19 hotspot, although a lower rate could mean either a manageable spread or too few tests being administered.
Statewide, there were 14 new deaths on Monday and 21 people were admitted to hospitals. Georgia had a cumulative total of 332,311 cases and 7,429 deaths related to the novel coronavirus.
Gov. Brian Kemp’s latest extension of COVID-19 restrictions is scheduled to expire at midnight Thursday, although, so far, he’s been renewing the order with little fanfare. Georgia’s declaration of a public health state of emergency runs through Nov. 9.
At the time Kemp initiated the state of emergency on March 14, there were just 64 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state. That total included three cases in Floyd, seven in Bartow, two in Gordon and one in Polk.
Under the restriction order, people with chronic health conditions and those who live in long-term care facilities must continue to shelter in place. A ban on visitors to nursing homes, in place since early April, was eased in September.
Still in place is a ban on gatherings of 50 or more people unless at least six feet of social distancing is maintained, although enforcement has been scattershot.
Amusement parks, sports stadiums and performance venues were allowed to reopen in July under sanitization and occupancy restrictions.
Restaurants also have sanitizing regulations in place and must keep at least six feet of space between dining groups. Bars can have up to 50 customers inside or 35% of occupancy, whichever is greater.
Kemp eased restrictions slightly in his last renewal in mid-September. Workers at restaurants and bars who have a known or suspected COVID-19 diagnosis may now return to work once they have been symptom-free for 24 hours.
The Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act, passed on the last day of the legislative session, offers a liability shield. Establishments that post warning signs — saying people assume the risk of contracting the disease by entering — are protected from lawsuits except in the case of gross or willful negligence.