Omicron cases rise in Georgia, worrying many ahead of Christmas vacation – WSB-TV Channel 2
CHAMBLEE, Georgia – The upsurge in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant is worrying officials as many people prepare to gather for the Christmas holidays.
Georgia on Tuesday recorded the highest level of new cases since early October, with the state reporting more than 3,700 new cases.
The seven-day average of cases is also higher. It more than doubled last week alone.
So far, the increase in cases has not translated into a significant increase in hospitalizations. Just over 1,200 people hospitalized in Georgia on Wednesday were patients with COVID-19, up from more than 6,000 during the delta surge in September.
Intensive care units across the state were at 81% of capacity Wednesday morning and emergency rooms at 66% of capacity. During the delta’s surge that peaked in September, most parts of Georgia had significantly overcapacity intensive care units.
As of Wednesday, only one region, Columbus and surrounding counties, was overcapacity with 105% of intensive care beds occupied.
With cases on the rise, a mask warrant is back in Atlanta. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms gave the order on Tuesday afternoon. This means that you will have to hide yourself in any place inside the city.
The order comes just one month after the removal of the last mask mandate.
The omicron variant spreads faster than the other variants and this worries everyone at Christmas.
On Tuesday, some people waited almost an hour to take a rapid test at a test site in Chamblee.
Deidra Willie brought her 16-year-old daughter Ryen Evans to the site because Ryen is traveling to Charleston to visit her grandmother for Christmas.
âI’m going to South Carolina to see my grandmother for Christmas. I’m getting tested to make sure I don’t bring anything to her since she’s a little older, âEvans said.
Others who planned to visit friends and family over Christmas lined up for more than 45 minutes to get tested for COVID-19.
The omicron variant is now the dominant variant in Georgia and doctors say it is much more contagious than the delta variant.
After Mayor Bottoms reviewed the latest COVID-19 figures, she announced on social media that the city was back in the yellow zone and reinstating the indoor mask mandate.
Gov. Brian Kemp said on Monday he was keeping in touch with officials from the Department of Public Health and CEOs of state hospitals, but so far he’s not planning any further state action.
Back at the Chamblee test site, nurses performed test after test on people waiting in the long queue.
Nurse Alexis Parker said wait times have increased over the past two weeks.
âWith the release of this new variant and the holidays coming up, a lot of people are trying to go out and get tested before they visit family or things like that. So I think that’s why we’re seeing an increase in lines, âParker said.
Atlanta Mayor-elect Andre Dickens posted to social media on Monday that he has COVID-19, but he said his symptoms appeared to be very mild.
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