ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Public Health is urging Georgians to get vaccinated now, as COVID-19 cases rise and the Delta variant spreads.
According to the DPH's latest data, Georgia's COVID-19 case rate has increased 204% over the last 14-days. On Thursday, Georgia reached 4,612 cases, which according to the DPH is the highest daily number of cases since mid-February.
Additionally, the DPH said hospitalizations have increased nearly 50% and deaths have increased about 18% in the last 14-days.
Right now, 40% of Georgians are fully vaccinated, 6% of Georgians in between their first and second doses and 54% of eligible Georgians still have yet to get a vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the Delta variant accounts for 78% of new COVID-19 cases in Georgia. The CDC reports the Delta variant spreads more than twice as easily from one person to another.
The Delta variant is also causing some “vaccine breakthrough infections,” which means infections can occur in fully vaccinated people; the CDC said most breakthrough infections are mild.
“Unfortunately, we can expect COVID numbers to keep growing. People who are unvaccinated or skip their second dose of vaccine are targets for infection,” Dr. Kathleen E. Toomey, commissioner of the DPH said. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. High vaccination coverage will reduce spread of the virus in your community and elsewhere - and help prevent new variants from emerging.”
In communities with high transmission rates, the CDC recommends everyone wear a mask indoors in public settings.
The CDC has a color coded map to determine which Georgia counties are experiencing high transmission. You can see over the last seven days from July 23 to July 29, nearly all of Georgia's counties are red, meaning almost every county is experiencing high transmission rates.
The DPH wants to remind Georgians vaccines are free and widely available. For more information on how and where to get a vaccine, click here.