ATLANTA — Georgia, like most of the country, continues to be in the "red zone" for new cases of COVID-19, according to the latest White House Coronavirus Task Force report.
While the report, dated from Nov. 29, does say Georgia has seen "stability" in new cases and test positivity, it comes at a "high plateau of ongoing community spread." That's the case for at least 70% of all of Georgia's 159 counties, which have moderate or high levels of community transmission according to the report.
Most of the growth of new cases have come from the metro Atlanta area - in Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties - the report said. However, it added that new hospitalization admissions in Georgia "remain elevated."
Meanwhile, the task force report painted a dire picture for the rest of the nation, warning the COVID risk to all Americans at a "historic high." According to the report, the US is now seeing more than 180,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day - far higher than the 25,000 cases a day between the Memorial Day and summer surge. Hospitalization rates have tripled and fatalities have more than doubled, the report added.
"We are in a very dangerous place due to the current, extremely high COVID baseline and limited hospital capacity," the report warned. "A further post-Thanksgiving surge will compromise COVID patient care, as well as medical care overall."
The report emphasized the importance of public health officials alerting the state population to the "seriousness of the current situation" and reiterated the importance of regular testing to understand the true state of community spread.
"The silent community spread that precedes and continues to drive these surges can only be identified and interrupted through proactive, focused testing for both the identification of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals," the report said.
It added that testing must be "combined with significant behavior change of all Americans," including wearing masks at all times in public and increasing physical distancing - achieved by cutting capacity in restaurants and bars and understanding "the clear risks of ANY family or friend interactions outside of their immediate household indoors without masks."
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