High rate of COVID-19 infections continues

This screenshot from the Georgia Department of Public Health website shows the daily number of cases of COVID-19 reported. The highest peak occurred in mid-August but the number of new cases only briefly dropped before peaking again. The current rise in cases began near the end of October.

Public health officials are asking Georgians to avoid travel and gatherings when possible during the Thanksgiving holiday as the pandemic rages across the country.

“The surge of COVID-19 infections in Georgia and across the country mean we must rethink our idea of a traditional Thanksgiving this year,” Dr. Kathleen E. Toomey, the Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner, said in a statement.

The virus spreads easily whether gatherings are large or small and that spread puts people at risk, especially people who are elderly or have underlying medical conditions.

“Each family must assess the risk of exposure to COVID-19, especially among elderly or medically fragile individuals, as they weigh the decision to host or attend a holiday gathering,” Toomey said. “Everyone needs to follow the guidance of wearing a face mask, social distancing and washing your hands frequently. And get a flu shot.”

Another rise in COVID-19 infections appears to have begun in Floyd County in early November.

In the past week we’ve averaged over 33 new cases per day and have reported 462 cases in the past two weeks.

In the past week, Georgia is reporting nearly 2,400 new COVID-19 cases per day and around 30 deaths per day.

The DPH has listed seven COVID-19 deaths in Floyd County so far this month. The death rate for this county has remained under national and state averages, with only 1.48% of cases resulting in deaths, according to the Georgia Geospatial Information Office.

However, hospitalizations are following the increased number of cases. As of Thursday, Floyd Medical Center and Redmond Regional Medical Center reported they have a total of 82 COVID-19 positive patients in their facilities.

That number of patients is near the top end of the scale locally. Floyd County’s hospitals have also reported an uptick in emergency room visits concerning COVID-19 patients.

Nationally, the daily count of U.S. tests beginning on Sept. 15 has increased nearly 100%, based on a seven-day rolling average. However, the daily average of new COVID-19 cases has increased over 300%, to more than 161,000 as of Wednesday, according to an Associated Press analysis.

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