Coronavirus Update: New statistics; Kemp urges post-holiday testing; Fulton Schools plan classroom return

Over the holiday weekend, Georgia surpassed 6,000 deaths from COVID-19, while confirmed cases are nearing the 300,000 mark. As of Sept. 10, there were 289,123 confirmed cases and 6,204 deaths. While numbers have decreased, they were still 1,930 new cases confirmed in a 24 hour period along with 76 additional deaths and 217 hospitalizations. See the state’s full statistics at at this link.

Gov. Brian Kemp and Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey are asking all Georgians – especially those who may have participated in large gatherings over the Labor Day holiday weekend – to schedule a COVID-19 test at one of the Georgia Department of Public Health’s more than 180 testing locations. “To prevent increased community spread following the holiday weekend, we are asking all Georgians who participated in gatherings, were not able to socially distance, or who may have been exposed to the virus to schedule a COVID-19 test,” Kemp said in a statement. Toomey echoed those sentiments: “Testing is a key component in our fight to stop COVID-19,. Governor Kemp and I are asking all Georgians who may be at risk of exposure to the virus after Labor Day to schedule a test at one of our testing sites throughout the state. I would also recommend that all Georgians go ahead and schedule a flu shot. These two steps can mitigate community spread and keep Georgians healthy as we continue on a positive trajectory with the virus.” To schedule a COVID-19 test, visit the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website or go to DoINeedACOVID19Test.com.

If the current downward trend of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues, students in the Fulton County Schools System could fully return to face-to-face instruction on Oct. 14, Superintendent Mike Looney told the FCS Board of Education during its Sept. 8 meeting. Remote learning would remain an option for at least the current semester. Since the public health data has been improving, Looney said, the district plans to skip Phase 2 of the reopening plan and go directly to Phase 3 for most students on Sept. 21. In Phase 3, all students would attend in-person classes one day per week and continue remote learning on the other four weekdays. Looney said Sept. 21 was chosen to give extra time to take into account a possible uptick in cases stemming from the Labor Day holiday. Read more at Reporter Newspapers.

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