By Tia Lynn Ivey
Georgia continues to be in the top 10 states with the highest confirmed COVID-19 cases. As of press time on Tuesday, July 14, Georgia reported 3,632 new cases in just one day, with 25 deaths and 217 hospitalizations for the day as of 2 p.m. Since the pandemic began, Georgia has confirmed a total of 120,569 confirmed coronavirus cases, 3,026 deaths, 13,476 hospitalizations and 2,643 ICU admissions, according the Georgia Department of Public Health. As of press time, Georgia has conducted more than 1.1 million tests for the coronavirus. COVID-19 is a highly contagious and potentially lethal upper-respiratory coronavirus sweeping across the country and world.
As of July 13, Georgia had the eighth highest number of coronavirus cases in the nation, only surpassed by New York, California, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, and Arizona.
In Morgan County, 81 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed since the beginning of the pandemic. Zero deaths have been confirmed in Morgan County due to the coronavirus, but eight Morgan County citizens have been hospitalized after contracting the virus.
Some counties surrounding Morgan County are also experiencing a rise in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
According to GDPH, Greene County reported 120 confirmed cases, 10 deaths and 21 hospitalizations. Putnam County reported 222 cases, 12 deaths, and 24 hospitalizations. Jasper County reported 89 confirmed cases, one death and eight hospitalizations. Oconee County has 243 confirmed cases, with 13 deaths and 31 hospitalizations. Walton County reported 569 confirmed cases with 29 deaths and 70 hospitalizations. Newton County reported 951 confirmed cases, resulting in 15 deaths and 120 hospitalizations. Morgan County cases combined with surrounding counties total 856 confirmed cases, 42 deaths, and 149 hospitalizations.
Morgan County combined with surrounding counties’s cases total 2,285 confirmed coronavirus cases and 80 deaths.
As coronavirus surge across the state before schools are set to reopen in early August, state leaders are stepping up “voluntary” mask-wearing campaigns, while some cities have made masks in public mandatory. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp toured the state to promote masks, urging all Georgia citizens to voluntarily wear masks in public, but stopped short of issuing a mandatory mask order.
“All Georgia residents and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings as practicable while outside their home or place of residents, except when eating, drinking, or exercising outdoors. When you leave your home, wear cloth face coverings wherever and whenever practicable,” advised Governor Kemp.
However, several cities in Georgia have enacted mandatory masks in public, including as Athens, Atlanta and Savannah.
Madison officials have also encouraged citizens to wear masks and are asking businesses to make them mandatory for customers and employees.
“We need to learn to protect each other,” said Madison Mayor Fred Perriman.