The number of Floyd County residents who have been infected with COVID-19 hit 4,591 Sunday, with 97 cases confirmed over the weekend.

So far, 67 people have died from the respiratory illness caused by the new -- and rapidly spreading -- coronavirus.

Test results for the past 14 days have come back with a 13.7% positivity rate, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health's daily status report. That's significantly above the 10% mark indicative of a hotspot. 

A real-time risk assessment map developed at Georgia Tech showed Sunday that there was a 20% chance of catching COVID at any Floyd County gathering of 10 people.

The map, which tracks infections by county nationwide, indicated that at local events drawing 50 people, the risk level rose to 68%.

That remains the gathering limit for Georgia after Gov. Brian Kemp extended social distancing and sanitization restrictions for businesses, gatherings and long-term elderly care facilities. 

Kemp signed an executive order, effective at midnight Monday and running through the end of the month, leaving the current set of restrictions in place. 

“As COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations rise across the country, (Georgia Commissioner of Public Health) Dr. (Kathleen) Toomey and I are asking Georgians to remain vigilant in our fight against COVID-19," the governor said.

“Continue to wash your hands, wear a mask, watch your distance, follow public health guidance, and get a flu shot. By taking these simple steps, we will protect lives -- and livelihoods."

A statewide public heath emergency first declared in Georgia last March allows Kemp to continue issuing executive orders addressing COVID-19.

At that time, Floyd, Bartow, Gordon and Polk were among the few counties with cases. On Sunday, nearly 2,000 cases were reported statewide -- and every county had contributed to the overall total of 386,949 cases and 8,462 deaths so far. 

The latest order keeps in place a ban on gatherings larger than 50 people in Georgia and continues to make wearing a mask voluntary at the statewide level rather than mandatory.

Cities and counties have been allowed to impose their own mask mandates since August so long as their local requirements do not apply to businesses and residences.

The city of Rome has adopted the mandate. Floyd County commissioners have not, but consistently encourage face coverings in public buildings. 

President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to institute a nationwide mask mandate on his first day in office in January. 

Kemp said the state has distributed more than 300,000 rapid COVID-19 tests across the state, stockpiled a 60-day supply of personal protective equipment and worked with hospitals and nursing homes to provide the medical staff needed to treat coronavirus patients.

Rome News Tribune staff contributed local information to this report.

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