Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced Wednesday that the state would not lockdown, and there will not be a statewide mask mandate, according to a series of Kemp’s tweets.
“As the first state in the country to reopen over a year ago, we’ve proven that Georgians know how to come together and protect themselves and their loved ones,” Gov. Kemp wrote in one of the tweets.
Just 24 hours ago, the CDC said it was now recommending people wear masks – even if they’re vaccinated – if they’re in an area with a substantial or high spread of COVID-19.
The World Health Organization defines areas with a high rate of transmission as anything over a positivity rate of 5%. As of July 27th, 10 out of 11 surrounding Atlanta Counties are considered to have a high rate under WHO's definition. The state's 14 day overall positivity rate is 8.9%, that's an overall spike of 151% from the two weeks before.
- Cherokee County – 7.6%
- Fulton County – 7.1%
- Cobb County – 7%
- Dekalb County – 6.6%
- Gwinnett County – 5.9%
- Clayton County – 10.8%
- Fayette County –2.6%
- Rockdale Count – 9.9%
- Douglas County – 12.5%
- Henry County –10.5%
- Forsyth County – 5.5%
Dr. Jayne Morgan, the Clinical Director of the Covid Task Force with Piedmont Healthcare, says the increasing positivity rate is concerning, “we are sliding backwards and what we project is that eventually the unvaccinated population will post a significant threat to the vaccinated population.”
With metro Atlanta schools preparing to head back soon, seven metro Atlanta area school districts have all said masks would remain optional.
- Cobb County
- Fulton County
- Cherokee County
- Henry County
- Forsyth County
- Marietta City Schools
- Buford City Schools
The six other districts seen below are requiring or recommending them, and Fayette County remains undecided.
- Atlanta Public Schools
- Dekalb County Schools
- Gwinnett County
- Clayton County
- Rockdale County
- Douglas County
While not directly addressing school policies, Kemp encouraged Georgians to get vaccinated writing, “Georgians know the risks, and they know these safe, effective vaccines are our greatest tool to defeat COVID-19.”
He also wrote that nearly all new Georgia COVID-19 hospitalizations are among those who are unvaccinated.
“My family, myself, and other state leaders have all rolled up their sleeves and gotten their shot,” Gov. Kemp wrote. “I encourage all Georgians who have concerns or questions to talk to a medical provider and get vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
Gov. Kemp also said the biggest obstacle is getting more people vaccinated, especially with “mixed messages from Washington D.C. and those with partisan agendas.”
However, in Georgia, Gov. Kemp said, “we have been consistent.”
According to the latest data from the Georgia Department of Public Health, 55% of Georgians who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine remain unvaccinated, 40% of Georgians are vaccinated, and 5% of Georgians are in between their first and second doses.