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Georgia reports increase in COVID cases, but numbers low compared with prior years

COVID-19 Decatur Trending

Georgia reports increase in COVID cases, but numbers low compared with prior years

FILE PHOTO USED FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES: Stone Mountain resident Lenora Beacham gets a COVID-19 vaccine from DeKalb Fire Rescue Senior Firefighter Michael Sontag during the food and vaccine distribution event at James R. Hallford Stadium in Clarkston on Saturday, June 5. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Atlanta, GA — More people are coming down with COVID-19, but the numbers “remain relatively low” compared to the state’s peak in January 2022, according to a press release from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

“The increases DPH is currently seeing are likely a combination of a new COVID variant, people not prioritizing prevention measures, more summer travel and people at large gatherings, and some waning of immunity from vaccination or prior infection,” the press release from the health department says.

At least one local college has reinstituted a mask mandate, according to Decaturish media partner Atlanta News First. Atlanta News First also reported on Aug. 17 that the latest CDC data through Aug. 5 shows a jump of 30% in hospital admissions in Georgia compared to the week before. There is a nationwide trend with a 14% increase in hospitalizations over that same period of time, ANF reported.

There’s a new variant, EG.5 or Eris, and it is now the dominant variant of COVID-19 spreading in the United States, the press release from the Health Department says.

“It is responsible for about 17% of new COVID cases in the country and about 16% of new cases in Georgia,” the press release from DPH says. “Early data indicates Eris may be more easily transmissible than some other variants, but it does not appear to cause more severe disease. The CDC says the current COVID vaccine is effective against Eris, and Eris infections are picked up by COVID tests.”

The Health Department reminds the public that vaccination is the best protection against COVID and from being hospitalized if you get COVID.

“In general, everyone 6 months and older should be vaccinated for COVID,” the press release says.

For more information about vaccines, DPH recommends the public visit:


To schedule a vaccine, visit;


“In addition to staying up to date on vaccinations, get tested for COVID if you have symptoms,” the press release says. “COVID tests are widely available over the counter, at health departments and kiosks statewide. There are several effective treatments for COVID, so contact your healthcare provider right away if you test positive. Treatment must be started within a few days after you first develop symptoms to be effective.”

Basic prevention measures recommended by the Health Department include:

— Covering your coughs

— Sneezing into your elbow

— Throwing away used tissues

— Washing your hands frequently with soap and water

— Staying home if you’re sick.

“It is important to stay informed about COVID but be sure you get your information from reliable sources such as DPH https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19, the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html, or your healthcare provider,” the press release says. “DPH will continue to closely monitor COVID data and provide updates as needed.”

Atlanta News First reports that Atlanta’s Morris Brown College has reinstated its mask mandate. According to ANF, the school announced on its Facebook page that due to reports of positive cases among students in the Atlanta University Center, it has decided to put its mask mandate back in place for all faculty, staff, and students, effective immediately.

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