Georgia also needs to rebuild testing and contact tracking across the country, the report said, and infection testing and control measures need to be expanded to nursing homes and other long-term care institutions.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution received the recommendations of the White House Coronavirus Task Force for Georgia, Aug. 9, from a source.
Dr Melanie Thompson, lead investigator for the Atlanta AIDS Research Consortium, said it was disappointing the report was only seeing the light of day due to a leak.
“These are public health data and they should be available to the public,”
; she said.
Most states require masks
Although Kemp has encouraged Georgians to wear masks, Georgia is one of 16 states without any form of nationwide masked mandate. Kemp said he believes a nationwide requirement is unnecessary and unenforceable.
Kemp emergency orders explicitly prohibit cities from approving mask mandates or adopting any stricter or less restrictive measures than that.
On Thursday, Kemp withdrew a lawsuit challenging Atlanta City masked city mandate and business restrictions, but officials say he plans a new order by Saturday that would specify that local governments could not order private businesses to require masks.
Dr Carlos del Rio, associate executive dean at the Emory University School of Medicine at Grady Health System, said the White House recommendations are not political and are based on sound science.
Del Rio is part of a group of more than 2,000 medical professionals who have pushed Kemp into a pair of open letters to approve a mask mandate and limited operations of bars, gyms and nightclubs and allow local governments to impose restrictions tough if necessary.
“We are not doing anything and we hope the magic numbers will decrease,” he said of Georgia’s coronavirus response. “Hope is not a strategy.”
Gov. Brian Kemp (left) watches as U.S. Deputy Chief of General Surgeon Jerome M. Adams prepares to self-administer a COVID-19 test during a press conference at a COVID-19 test clinic located in a Atlantic International Hartsfield-Jackson Airport paid for the parking facility at College Park on Monday, August 10, 2020. (ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
The AJC asked the Kemp office why the governor refused to follow the recommendations of the working groups to close businesses such as bars and nightclubs that are at high risk of spreading.
Kemp spokesman Cody Hall did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Gov Kemp continues to rely on the data, science and public health advice of Dr. (Kathleen) Toomey and her team in our state’s ongoing battle against COVID-19,” Hall said, referring to the state commissioner for public health. “As the governor has said many times before, this war is about protecting the lives – and livelihoods – of all Georgians.”
Hall said the state is expanding its testing resources, including a new North Carolina-based lab partner and the recently opened temporary mega-site “mega-site” at Atlanta Airport. Georgia has reported 25,000 or more new tests in eight of the past nine days, Hall said.
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In addition to federal supplies, the state has partnered with long-term care centers to increase testing, and Hall outlined other steps the state has taken to control infections.
But the COVID Exit Strategy, a nonprofit and nonpartisan public health initiative, estimates that Georgia is testing only about a quarter of what it takes a day to reduce the virus.
Kemp critics reacted to the White House report with outrage and anger.
Rep. State William Boddie, one of the best Democrats in the House, asked why the governor is refusing to act more decisively.
“He has to stick to science. “He says he’s looking at the data, but I’m wondering what that data is saying,” Boddie said. “Georgia is at the highest levels of COVID-19 cases in the country. It makes no sense to me. We need to mandate masks and a uniform way to attack the coronavirus. And it has to start with that. “
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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is among several mayors who, irritated by Kemp’s restraint measures, have opposed his order and imposed their own limits.
In a statement, Bottoms said that “science and data clearly show that Georgia remains on a dangerous trajectory.”
“We will never get to the other side of this pandemic if we do not heed the warnings of our health professionals and wear masks, practice social distancing and stop behaving as if COVID-19 suddenly disappears,” she said.
The catastrophic reopening of some school districts has also been filtered into the campaign trail.
“We are not doing anything and we hope the magic numbers will decrease. Hope is not a strategy.”
– Dr. Carlos del Rio, Associate Executive Dean at Emory University School of Medicine in Grady Health System
Rep. State Beth Moore has collected more than 650 tips from students, parents and teachers about problems in schools after in-person teaching resumed in several districts, and she has been among the most vocal critics of Kemp’s coronavirus policy.
“Governor Kemp is lining up with anti-science extremists who believe masks do not help, the virus is a hoax and we should all bury our heads in the sand and pray the virus goes away,” said Moore, a Peachtree Corners Democrat. “The fact that a school interrogation effort is even needed to ensure the protection of students, faculties and their families shows how poorly Kemp has handled the coronavirus pandemic in Georgia.”
Some Republicans say more needs to be done. Rep. Chuck Efstration Rep., R-Dacula, on Thursday said it will introduce legislation next year that will speed up the availability of same-day coronavirus test results and create a new state certification for businesses that follow the guidelines of state security.
‘Seeing the consequences’
Georgia was one of the last states to order its residents to take refuge in the country in April and one of the most aggressive states to reopen its economy. Georgia reported an increase in issues during the week during the week to nine from 10 weeks from early May to mid-July, reaching 25,471 cases in the week of July 12th.
In the three full weeks since then, Georgia has reported a slight decline in weekly cases, but the average for the next seven days remains more than five times higher than the level reported in early June.
On Thursday, the Department of Public Health (DPH) announced 2,515 new net cases of the virus, and 82 new confirmed deaths.
The White House report examined the data from August 1 to August 7 and was a continuation of a July 26 date that labeled Georgia as one of the 21 states in the “red zone.” The new assessment found that the scale of Georgia cases was falling slightly, but rising new cases and numbers testing positive for the virus still put Georgia in the red zone.
Georgia’s spread rate remained nearly double the national average, the workforce said.
The deaths, meanwhile, are contagious.
On Tuesday, the DPH reported a record 122 new confirmed net deaths, followed by the second-highest overall Wednesday of Wednesday 105. To date, 4,538 deaths in Georgia have been attributed to COVID-19.
Georgia has also set weekly records for deaths reported in each of the past three weeks.
“I hate to say it, but we’re not doing enough in Georgia and we’re seeing the consequences,” del Rio said.
Of Georgia’s 159 counties, 109 are in the red zone of the workforce for transmission and positivity testing, including Clayton among Atlanta’s 10 core counties. Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett and Rockdale are in the yellow zone.
The White House report also reveals information that has not been previously disclosed by the DPH, including the positivity of the county test during the week of August 1 through August 7. were greater than 20%.