ATLANTA — With Gov. Brian Kemp's order to begin Georgia's reopening process turning two weeks old today, 11Alive is looking at how things have developed since then.
It's understood that, because of how the coronavirus takes time to incubate and how symptoms develop, there is a distinct lag between the conditions that create cases and when we actually recognize whether those conditions created more or fewer cases.
Two weeks from the day businesses such as salons, tattoo parlors and bowling alleys were allowed to reopen - albeit under strict guidelines - does not give public health officials a perfect understanding of the implications of Georgia's reopening.
Nothing could, given how we only have imperfect data to work with (for a number of reasons), and given that there are more factors that go into the rise and fall of cases than just the governor's orders.
But we do have some good data, and we can get a decent sense of how things are going. It will take weeks to have a true concrete sense of what resulted from reopen, but that doesn't mean we can't glance now at how things stand.
At 11Alive, we're using a 14-day moving average to look at case totals. Case totals can be an imperfect indicator and do not offer a definitive answer to the most important question - is the coronavirus situation here getting better or worse?
But it is one of the most significant benchmarks in President Trump's guidelines for reopening the country, and therefore one of the things we - and everyone else - has to try and assess.
Why a 14-day average? Again, it's the standard presented by the White House.
In Fulton County, you can get the sense that reopening has, at least so far, not had a significant impact on running case totals. The graph above peaks around mid-April and since then has declined modestly but steadily.
We can see a slight uptick more recently, but it will be another week or so before we can say it's a real trend or something we can attribute to reopening.
It's also possible that Fulton County in particular has seen more residents continue to voluntarily shelter in place, with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms making a vocal case recently that it was too soon to reopen.
There are other possibilities: With a generally younger, fitter population, perhaps Fulton has cases spreading, but amongst more people who are less likely to get seriously sick and, therefore, ever get tested.
Right now, it's too soon to tell.
11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.
We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.
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