The statewide public health emergency is extended under two executive orders Gov. Brian Kemp signed on Monday citing an increase in new cases reported and current hospitalizations, while Hart County saw an increase of nine reported cases in a week-long period.
The executive orders extend the public health state of emergency until Aug. 11 and continues urging Georgians to wear face coverings, requires social distancing, bans gatherings of more than 50 people unless there is six feet between each person, details mandatory criteria for businesses and requires sheltering in place for those living in long-term care facilities and the medically fragile.
The order comes during a reported surge of COVID-19 cases across the state, jumping from about 67,000 cumulative cases on June 23 to more than 81,000 cumulative cases on June 30, according to the Department of Public Health’s daily status report.
Hart County saw an increase of nine cumulative cases, from 50 to 59, during that same time frame. Five hospitalizations from the virus and no deaths have been reported in the county as of Tuesday. By Thursday, the cumulative total had jumped to 67.
While nursing homes have been hit the hardest in terms of death toll across the state, Hartwell Health and Rehabilitation saw all 10 of its residents who previously tested positive for the novel coronavirus recover, according to the Department of Community Health.
Hart Care Center now has two staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19, Department of Community Health data shows. None of the residents have tested positive as of Tuesday’s report.
The Department of Public health reports 2,805 people in Georgia have died from COVID-19 since the agency began tracking the data. More than 11,000 people have been hospitalized and more than 2,300 people have been admitted to intensive care units.
Back to school
Kemp’s executive order mandates the State Board of Education to provide “rules, regulations, and guidance for the operation of public elementary and secondary schools for local boards of education” in accordance with guidance from Dr. Kathleen Toomey, the Department of Public Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics, according to a release from the governor’s office.
The Hart County Board of Education has discussed options for how school will resume in August, but no final plan has been announced.
The state Department of Education recently requested to waive year-end standardized tests and other reporting requirements for the upcoming school year due to the pandemic and are now asking for feedback on whether or not the federal government should grant the state’s request.
The survey, which runs through July 10, is open to parents, students, teachers and others.
Guidance for how to return to school safely was issued to local school officials earlier this month and detailed how to open up schools based on the level of community spread.