Georgia is entering a potentially catastrophic phase of a coronavirus outbreak as scientific models predict a surge in illness and death in the next two weeks.
On Monday alone, authorities confirmed 75 new deaths from the virus. A week ago, only 100 people died in Georgia.
Forecast 1,500 more dead By April 21, Georgia reflects the sober prognosis of US surgeon generals. On Sunday, Dr. Jerome Adams compared the next few days to Pearl Harbor and the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack. This was two important events in American history.
But state officials continued to send conflicting messages in the disturbing news about the spread of the virus. Governor Brian Kemp’s spokesperson vowed “ no exception ” for those who violated state-wide home shelter rules, but the governor’s top aide showed a surprisingly bright atmosphere on social media .
“Georgia—Go to the beach, lake, or state park!” Kemp’s Chief of Staff Tim Fleming wrote on Facebook. A week ago, Fleming Local government “overkill” Who imposed measures to take social distance—a few days before Kemp’s statewide order superseded those measures.
Mr Kemp is expected to extend the public health emergency first declared on March 14 this week, which could extend his home shelter duties. On Monday, Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harold Melton extended the state-wide judicial emergency to May 13, bringing court operations to critical matters such as bond hearings, restraining orders for domestic violence, and arrest warrants. Limited.
Three days after the statewide lockdown was implemented, the number of confirmed coronavirus diagnoses and deaths increased at a phenomenal pace.
State public health officials said more than 7,500 Georgians tested positive for COVID-19. One week ago there were about 3,000 cases.
The official death toll increased to 294, up 75 from Sunday and about 200 more than a week ago.
Despite this surge, authorities have acknowledged that figures lag behind real-time reports from the entire state, especially in areas with high outbreaks. The state tested only the most sick patients. This means that countless cases with milder symptoms have become uncountable.
Full coverage: Coronaville, Georgia
The State Public Health Service reports deaths only after testing has confirmed the diagnosis, said Nancy Nydam, a spokeswoman for the authorities. According to Nydam, the ministry collects reports from hospitals, coroners, and medical examiners and draws data from death certificates.
“For all these current workloads, reports can be delayed and are still being delayed,” Nydam wrote on Monday.
For example, the state on Monday reported that 44 people had been killed in a concentrated outbreak in Doherty County, southwest Georgia. However, coroner Michael Fowler said the county’s death toll had reached 50 over the weekend.
According to state data, another 36 people have died in six densely populated counties. On Monday, the number of confirmed deaths in Mitchell County, a population of 22,000, increased from one to ten.
Computer models updated over the weekend suggest that deaths across Georgia will increase rapidly in the coming days.
One of the most conservative models most widely cited by the University of Washington Health Index Assessment Laboratory predicts that Georgia’s daily deaths will peak at 137 deaths on April 21 doing. Georgia shelter-housing order came into effect, killing 96 people at its peak on April 25.
Within two weeks, the model suggests that about 1,500 Georgians die from the virus. Death lasts until May. The forecast predicts a total of more than 3,400. This is almost 200 more than what was shown on previous models.
Other models suggest that Georgia’s death could reach tens of thousands without social distance as many residents have practiced in the past few weeks.
Still, “ Some states, such as Texas and Georgia, may be at higher risk than currently predicted models, ” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, wrote on Twitter on Monday. Was. “This may flow in part from the fact that these states are in the worst state of the test.”
According to a COVID tracking project that compiled information from state public health agencies, the number of Georgians tested for COVID-19 has doubled in the past week to over 40,000.
With bad news continuing on Monday, some Republican officials defended Kemp from criticism on two fronts. county. At least one of Kemp’s allies has gone so far as to question the authenticity of government reports on the virus.
Public service commissioner Tim Ekorus reported to his supporters as a “fake news media” and a long newsletter in favor of them who accused him of “trying to score cheap political points” from Kemp’s performance during the crisis. Sent to
“It’s not time for pandemic politics,” wrote Echols. “It’s time for the Georgians to unite and support Governor Kemp and his team. Governor Kemp and his team are using data, science and experts to chart the measured path. “
R-Savannah MP Ron Stephens says federal experts predict the spread of the virus. “Very inaccurate.” Author once Promoted false conspiracy theories Regarding the bomb that President Donald Trump’s supporters have allowed to mail prominent Democrats and members of the media.
Still, Stevens said, “Some of us have questioned the model a lot off.”
Another Republican, Rep. Jeff Jones of Brunswick, wrote to Kemp on the weekend that reopening the beach against the wishes of local authorities was “anti-intuitive.”
“I’m struggling after this decision,” Jones said in an interview. “Perhaps the governor had sought the opinion of a local delegate,” he said.
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Staff writers Brad Schleed and Bill Rankin contributed to this article.
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