Coronavirus

Cobb County’s COVID-19 emergency declaration has been extended

Cobb County’s COVID-19 emergency declaration has been extended

Cobb County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Lisa Cupid signed a second extension of the county’s Declaration of Emergency today concerning the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The extension will allow upcoming public meetings to be held virtually, keep the county’s emergency operations plan in place, and continues to encourage residents to get vaccinated and take precautions in public. The second extension runs through November 16.“Even though we’ve heard positive news from our public health partners on the downward trend of this latest surge in COVID cases, the county’s case rate remains more than three times what is considered ‘high community transmission,’” Chairwoman Cupid said.  “Keeping…
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‘Mask Up for Kids’ campaign kicks off

‘Mask Up for Kids’ campaign kicks off

Three child advocacy organizations in Georgia are launching an ad campaign encouraging both adults and children to wear masks to discourage the spread of COVID-19. A series of public service announcements set to begin airing Tuesday features children too young to be vaccinated talking about adults in their lives – including teachers and school bus drivers – who are not able to take care of them due to illness. “The adults charged with caring for our children are still getting sick,” said Dr. Erica Fener Sitkoff, executive director of Voices for Georgia’s Children. “We know some school districts are running…
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Report confirms COVID-19 vaccines are effective

Report confirms COVID-19 vaccines are effective

A new report shows COVID-19 vaccinations may have helped prevent roughly 5,100 new COVID-19 infections and 700 deaths among seniors in Georgia during the first five months of this year. The study, conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), also found that vaccinations were linked to a reduction of about 265,000 COVID-19 infections nationally, 107,000 hospitalizations, and 39,000 deaths among Medicare beneficiaries between January and May 2021. “This report reaffirms what we hear routinely from states: COVID-19 vaccines save lives, prevent hospitalizations, and reduce infection,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. Read the report here. More than…
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DeKalb vaccinates 2,100 at October vaccination event

DeKalb vaccinates 2,100 at October vaccination event

DeKalb County vaccinated 2,100 people at a vaccination event at Stonecrest Mall Oct. 2. “This has been a great day for DeKalb in our ongoing fight against COVID-19,” DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond said. “I thank all of our partners, employees and volunteers who contributed to this successful event Thurmond passed out hats and t-shirts at the event promoting the "Get Vaxxed DeKalb" message. The vaccination event featured guest appearances by actor and comedian Chris Tucker, renowned gospel singer Dottie Peoples, singer Tony Terry and more. The vaccination event began at 8 a.m. and county officials had planned to end…
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DeKalb County will give you $100 to get vaccinated Saturday

DeKalb County will give you $100 to get vaccinated Saturday

DeKalb County will once again give a $100 prepaid debit card to everyone who receives a COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday, Oct. 2, during the county's next big vaccine drive. From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., DeKalb County Board of Health, Emory Healthcare and DeKalb County Fire Rescue will administer voluntary COVID-19 vaccinations to anyone 12 years of age and older at The Mall at Stonecrest, 2929 Turner Hill Rd in, Stonecrest. All persons receiving a vaccination also will receive a $100 prepaid debit card. MedCura Health also will offer free COVID-19 tests. Attendees will be able to remain in their…
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Everything you need to know about getting a COVID-19 booster shot

Everything you need to know about getting a COVID-19 booster shot

The Gist: The CDC has formally made its recommendations on the booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccines. In Georgia, the state department of public health is following that guidance. First thing's first: The guidance only applies to the Pfizer vaccine. If you got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the FDA has not issued any recommendations yet for boosters of those vaccines. What is a booster?: In the case of coronavirus vaccine, the booster shot would be a third dose that would come several months after you have completed the initial two-dose vaccination. Who should get a booster shot?:…
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UGA faculty members are planning to impose a mask mandate

UGA faculty members are planning to impose a mask mandate

 The University System of Georgia is trying to fend off a rebellion from a group of University of Georgia faculty determined to impose a mask mandate in violation of system policy. A letter from Jeffrey Bennetzen, a geneticist at UGA, dated Sept. 20 served notice of plans for the mask mandate to discourage the spread of COVID-19. “In order to protect our students, staff and faculty colleagues, we will wear masks and will require all of our students and staff to wear masks in our classes and laboratories until local community transmission rates improve, despite the ban on mask mandates…
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Georgia will get less monoclonal antibodies as feds take over supply

Georgia will get less monoclonal antibodies as feds take over supply

A recent surge in demand for powerful Covid antibody drugs has generated concerns about supply shortages in states that are heavy users of the treatment, including Georgia. About 70 percent of these lab-created drugs are being used in the Southeast. With that uneven distribution, federal health officials recently decided to take over supplies and allocate them through state agencies. Georgia and other Southern states are expected to get less supply of the monoclonal antibody drugs while the shortage continues. To be most effective, the antibody cocktails must be given within 10 days of Covid infection or exposure. Michael Purvis, CEO…
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Brian Kemp teams up with Monica Kaufman Pearson to encourage vaccines

Brian Kemp teams up with Monica Kaufman Pearson to encourage vaccines

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp have teamed up with beloved Georgia broadcaster, WSB-TV’s Monica Kaufman Pearson, for an important video announcement about the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine. For more information about the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine and where the vaccines are currently available, visit the Georgia Department of Public Health's website. Below is the video released by Kemp's office. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h5i0iCMVIY According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, 46% of Georgians are fully vaccinated and 53% of Georgians have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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Georgia colleges report decrease in COVID-19 cases

Georgia colleges report decrease in COVID-19 cases

New cases of COVID-19 on University System of Georgia campuses started to come down this week after increasing at the beginning of the fall semester. The number of positive tests reported at nine schools – including the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech – declined this week, mirroring a trend that occurred at the same time last year. “Whenever we see a decline in cases, we are grateful, and we hope this downward trend holds,” said Dr. Shelley Nuss, co-chair of UGA’s Medical Oversight Task Force. “We saw a similar pattern last fall: a peak in cases shortly after we…
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Here are the changes to how Valdosta City Schools will handle quarantine

Here are the changes to how Valdosta City Schools will handle quarantine

Valdosta City Schools released new COVID-19 quarantine guidelines earlier this week. Below is the information from the news release sent out by the school district so you can see the changes and reasons straight from the horse's mouth. On Tuesday, September 14, the Valdosta Board of Education adopted new COVID-19 quarantine guidance in accordance with the administrative order released by the Georgia Department of Public Health. The Georgia Department of Health issued the following guidance to schools: “…recognizing the importance of in-person learning, we have issued an updated administrative order related to quarantine. Schools may now elect to adhere to…
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Most coronavirus outbreaks in Georgia are happening at schools

Most coronavirus outbreaks in Georgia are happening at schools

About 60 percent of current Covid outbreaks in Georgia are occurring in K-12 schools across the state, public health officials said Tuesday. That’s seven times more than the child outbreaks in previous virus surges, Cherie Drenzek, the state epidemiologist, told the board of the Department of Public Health. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths among children have reached their highest levels during the current surge of the pandemic, she added. And many of the infections are hitting 12- to 18-year-olds, who are eligible for vaccinations. The kids’ infection jump coincides with the opening of schools across the state. Many have closed and…
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Taliaferro County’s public school shut down due to COVID

Taliaferro County’s public school shut down due to COVID

Due to students and faculty members either having tested positive or being in close proximity to people who have tested positive for COVID, Taliaferro County's one public school is shutting down at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Thursday and Friday instruction will be virtual. Intercession will also be held via virtual instruction. The school system will also be delivering breakfast and lunch next Monday and Wednesday.
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Vaccine mandate may stop nurse job jumping

Vaccine mandate may stop nurse job jumping

Georgia hospital officials were scrambling Friday to gauge the impact of President Biden’s order for health care workers to get vaccinated for Covid-19. The mandate would apply to health care facilities that treat Medicare and Medicaid patients – virtually all hospitals – as well as dialysis centers, surgery centers and home care operations. The new order, if it ultimately takes effect, would appear to end the trend of nurses who don’t want the shots leaving for positions at hospitals with no vaccination mandates. Georgia hospital officials say such job-jumping has occurred here, with hospitals that don’t require vaccinations getting new…
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Gorillas at Zoo Atlanta test positive for COVID-19

Gorillas at Zoo Atlanta test positive for COVID-19

The Gist: Several of Zoo Atlanta's Gorillas have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Zoo officials. Zoo Atlanta has received presumptive positive test results indicating that members of its western lowland gorilla troops are positive for the COVID-19 virus.  How They Got It: While it cannot be known with certainty how the gorillas acquired the virus, the Animal Care and Veterinary Teams say they believe the infections originated with a COVID-positive care team member. The team member is fully vaccinated, was wearing Personal Protective Equipment, and was asymptomatic on the day of reporting to work. While humans are known to be…
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