COVID-19 survivor Irma Gooden is showered with love and confetti by family, friends and staff as director of activities Brock Staples wheels her outside to celebrate her 100th birthday at Westbury Medical Care & Rehabilitation on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, in Jackson. (Photo: AP)
An increasing number of Georgians are getting infected by the new coronavirus and ending up in the hospital as Gov. Brian Kemp continues to ease restrictions on gatherings and businesses.
Figures posted Tuesday show that Georgia has reported an average of 777 infections over the last 14 days, the highest level since April, when widespread transmission was at its peak and had led to a statewide lockdown. After falling, the number of infected people in a hospital has been rising for the last 10 days, reaching 875 on Tuesday.
The number of deaths statewide passed 2,500 on Tuesday, and the state continues to average about 30 deaths a day. If people continue to die at the same rate, that would put Georgia on pace for about 8,500 COVID-19 deaths by the end of the year.
“I see the numbers going back up and the restrictions in terms of policies going back down, which is nonsensical,” said Harry Heiman, a professor of public health at Georgia State University.
Kemp, a Republican, contends he remains focused on fighting the infection, saying Tuesday that Georgia has now tested every resident of a nursing home with 25 or more beds. In nursing homes, 1,139 residents have died, 45% of all deaths statewide. Of about 6,400 infected residents, 3,500 have recovered, the Department of Community Health said.
Across all long-term care facilities, says it has tested 77% of residents.
“In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to ensure that vulnerable Georgians have the care and resources that they need as we work to limit exposure and spread,” Kemp said in a statement Tuesday.