In The News

As Biden mandates COVID vaccines, Kemp threatens to sue

As Biden mandates COVID vaccines, Kemp threatens to sue

Gov. Brian Kemp quickly vowed to go to court and other Georgia Republicans responded with angry charges of government overreach after President Joe Biden outlined a plan of expansive new federal vaccine requirements to attack the surge of COVID-19. More than 80 million employees of private businesses in the U.S. will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing as part of the Biden administration’s latest strategy for combating the still-surging coronavirus pandemic. The upcoming vaccine rule for companies with at least 100 employees is one plank of an increasingly aggressive effort by the White House to ensure…
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Georgia college professors demand mask mandates

Georgia college professors demand mask mandates

Dennis Loubiere thought he did everything correctly. He got vaccinated against COVID-19, maintained physical distance in public and wore a face mask where recommended.  The Kennesaw State University professor taught students virtually over the summer, and decided it would be safe to return to campus for fall classes. He felt comfortable with his decision because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated people no longer needed to mask in public.   He changed his opinion as new COVID cases surged, and he was prevented from taking class online or asking students about vaccination status. The sentiment is shared —…
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COVID-19 surge forces Grady to cancel all non-essential procedures

COVID-19 surge forces Grady to cancel all non-essential procedures

As COVID hospitalizations soar in Georgia and Democrats and Republicans spar over how to deal with them, the state’s largest hospital system is canceling all non-essential medical procedures and surgeries. In a statement issued Wednesday, Grady Health System CEO John Haupert said, “The Labor Day weekend proved to be labor-intensive at Grady. Seriously ill patients with COVID-19 and other significant health issues inundated the hospital. And because other hospitals in the area are just as full, our weekend-long total diversion status did little to slow the steady stream of ambulance-delivered patients. And remember, like any other hospital, it is our…
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Crews prepare to lift section of Golden Ray shipwreck onto dry-dock

Crews prepare to lift section of Golden Ray shipwreck onto dry-dock

Responders completed cutting operations on the remainder of the Golden Ray wreck on Saturday. Wreck removal personnel separated the remainder of the Golden Ray wreck into two sections on Saturday and they are preparing to lift and stow Section Five onto a dry-dock barge. Once the Section Five is removed, response engineers will prepare Section Four, the final remaining section, to be lifted and stowed onto the Barge JULIE B which left the Port of Mobile en route to Brunswick. on Thursday. A dry-dock barge remains on-site as a contingency plan for stowing Section Four. For those unfamiliar with the…
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COVID-19 has killed more than 20,000 Georgians

COVID-19 has killed more than 20,000 Georgians

The number of confirmed Covid deaths in Georgia has now surpassed 20,000, state officials said Friday. In addition, there are more than 3,000 “probable’’ deaths from Covid, according to the state Public Health website. Georgia’s first confirmed Covid death was in March 2020. “It is tragic but not surprising that we have surpassed this grim milestone of 20,000 Covid deaths in our state,” Dr. Kathleen Toomey, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, said in a statement. She added that 97 percent of the Covid deaths since vaccines became available have been in unvaccinated patients. “These deaths are preventable,”…
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School officials ‘heartbroken’ after student dies from COVID-19

School officials ‘heartbroken’ after student dies from COVID-19

School officials in Floyd County say they are "hearbroken" after a student died from COVID-19 earlier this week. The child who died was a student at Coosa High School, which runs from grades 8 through 12. "The loss of a child, at any time, under any circumstances, is a tragedy. We are heartbroken that COVID-19 has taken the life of a child," said Floyd County Schools Superintendent Glenn White. "We extend our deepest sympathy to this child’s family and all others who have lost a loved one to this virus." Floyd County Schools will be closed to all students and…
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Georgia breaks record for coronavirus hospitalizations

Georgia breaks record for coronavirus hospitalizations

The state has broken its record for Covid patient hospitalizations, and has reached 5,880, a Public Health spokeswoman said Tuesday. The previous mark was set Jan. 12 at 5,814 hospitalized virus patients during the third Covid surge, according to Nancy Nydam, the spokeswoman. (The agency’s website Tuesday shows a lower hospitalization figure.) Meanwhile, several other figures reported Tuesday pointed to the devastation caused by the Delta variant, the highly contagious strain now linked to 100 percent of coronavirus cases in the state. State Public Health officials reported a single-day total of 10,798 Covid cases Tuesday, along with 86 deaths. Georgia…
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Suspicious package being investigated at Hartsfield-Jackson

Suspicious package being investigated at Hartsfield-Jackson

An area of Concourse F at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been cordoned off due to a suspicious package found in the concourse. Airport officials have blocked off the area where the package was found "out of an abundance of caution." Officials say the investigation will have a moderate impact on airport operations in the vicinity of the investigation. Return to The Georgia Sun for more information on this developing story. Photo: Editorial credit: Rob Wilson / Shutterstock.com
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Kemp to send more troops to hospitals amid coronavirus surge

Kemp to send more troops to hospitals amid coronavirus surge

Gov. Brian Kemp committed up to 2,500 Georgia National Guard troops Monday to fighting the surge of COVID-19 cases across the state. While the 105 Guard members Kemp deployed to 10 hard-hit hospitals last week were medically trained, the newly assigned troops will be given non-medical assignments, the governor said. He said hospital executives have told him they need help with such tasks as directing traffic, staffing cafeterias and cleaning rooms. “It’s a real morale booster to let the people working in the hospitals know we’re listening to them,” Kemp said. The additional commitment came as COVID-19 cases continued to…
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Georgia says goodbye to the Buckhead Diner

Georgia says goodbye to the Buckhead Diner

The Buckhead Diner -- a staple of Atlanta for more than 30 years -- has closed its doors for good. The restaurant was closed due to COVID-19, but the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group announced last week that the iconic diner will not be reopening. Georgians said goodbye to the home of popular blue cheese chips on social media, sharing memories and thoughts on the restaurants departure. Here are some of the posts about the Buckhead Diner closing. https://twitter.com/Jayforce/status/1430934505716604928 https://twitter.com/monaeatsLA/status/1431042586911772674 https://twitter.com/SherryandCo/status/1430973745901015041 https://twitter.com/tonetoatlanta/status/1430557428014256130 https://twitter.com/_astoldbyCOURT/status/1430611433969098758 https://twitter.com/FitzTrubey/status/1430601027322093571 https://twitter.com/georgiaontap/status/1430871870044311562 https://twitter.com/brockhuber/status/1430553925074161665 https://twitter.com/MarcusBland/status/1430548977745907720 https://twitter.com/katfudnews/status/1430907688741863427 https://twitter.com/PaigeCoop/status/1430573935586955274 https://twitter.com/ShibaRussell/status/1430660851195842562 https://twitter.com/james_ptweets1/status/1430632836990656513 https://twitter.com/coffeewithkelly/status/1431080279603621889
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‘Everybody is acting as if nothing is going on’ despite coronavirus surge

‘Everybody is acting as if nothing is going on’ despite coronavirus surge

Cases of COVID-19 in Georgia have surged to levels not seen since the virus peaked last January, a public health expert warned this week. New cases statewide are nearing 8,000 a day, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Of Georgians being tested for COVID-19, 17.2% are turning up positive, Dr. Janet Memark, district health director for Cobb & Douglas Public Health, said Thursday during an online forum sponsored by the Georgia House Democratic Caucus. The community is considered safe when fewer than 5% of test results are positive, she said. Memark blamed the delta variant, which is much…
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Georgia’s strip club tax has its day in court

Georgia’s strip club tax has its day in court

Georgia’s 1% tax on strip clubs to raise funds to combat child sex trafficking unfairly punishes businesses with no connection to the sexual exploitation of children, a lawyer for the clubs said Wednesday. But a lawyer for the state told the Georgia Supreme Court studies have shown strip clubs are frequented by child sex traffickers to lure customers, and taxing them is less harmful to those businesses than banning them altogether. The General Assembly passed the Safe Harbor Act, also known as Rachel’s Law, in 2015 to create a source of tax revenue to support rehabilitative care and other social…
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Georgia National Guard deployed to hospitals as COVID-19 surges

Georgia National Guard deployed to hospitals as COVID-19 surges

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is calling in the National Guard to help ease the strain of a COIVD-19 surge and a nursing shortage on Georgia's ailing hospitals. Kemp will deploy 105 personnel to hospitals throughout the state. These trained medical personnel will assist staff at the following hospitals: ▪ Southeast Georgia Health System, Brunswick▪ Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Gainesville▪ Wellstar Kennestone, Marietta▪ Piedmont Henry, Stockbridge▪ Phoebe Putney, Albany▪ Memorial Health University Medical Center, Savannah▪ Navicent Health, Macon▪ Grady Hospital, Atlanta▪ Piedmont Fayette, Fayetteville▪ Houston Medical Center, Warner Robins “These guardsmen will assist our frontline healthcare workers as they provide quality…
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Georgia schools chief shares his experience being hospitalized with COVID-19

Georgia schools chief shares his experience being hospitalized with COVID-19

The following is a column by Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods about his experience being hospitalized after catching a breakthrough case of COVID-19. As school started last year, I made it a point to be out on the frontlines to hear directly from our students, teachers, and school leaders. I was in more than seventy schools – likely more than any other Georgian.  Schools in different parts of the state were deploying similar and different practices to mitigate COVID-19. All these efforts were undertaken with the intent of keeping in-person teaching and learning going. Despite different approaches, I felt safe in every…
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Democratic lawmakers to Kemp: ‘Start invalidating anti-vaccine rhetoric’

Democratic lawmakers to Kemp: ‘Start invalidating anti-vaccine rhetoric’

Nine Georgia House of Representatives democrats penned a letter to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and State School Superintendent Richard Woods urging them to "come off the sidelines" with regard to masks and the coronavirus vaccine. Kemp has been an outspoken supporter of both wearing masks and the COVID-19 vaccine, but has pushed back on all efforts to mandate either. House democrats are asking him to both mandate masks and stop pushing back against vaccine verification. “The most powerful step the governor can take to prevent illness and deaths is to start being active rather than passive,” said these members of…
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