Kemp Renews Coronavirus Order Encouraging But Not Requiring Masks

Jim Massara

ATLANTA, GA — As Georgia’s coronavirus numbers continue to accelerate up, Gov. Brian Kemp again renewed Georgia’s COVID-19 guidelines without changes on Friday. The latest order lasts until Nov. 30.

Among Kemp’s guidelines are gatherings limited to 50 or fewer people, with Georgia residents still “encouraged” but not required to wear masks.

Kemp's latest order came a day after the associate dean of Emory University’s School of Medicine urged a mask mandate and decried the “leadership vacuum” at both the state and national levels.

"There's no one at a high level talking about this, saying what to do,” said Dr. Carlos Del Rio, an infectious-disease expert at Emory. “It's allowing the pandemic to progress without anyone taking charge."

Georgia’s coronavirus numbers would seem to bear that out. On Saturday, Georgia’s health department reported more than 2,500 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours. This marks the second time the number of new cases has topped 2,500 this month and the third time since Oct. 31. Before that, the last time the daily case number exceeded 2,500 was on Sept. 3. In addition, the seven-day moving average for new cases hit 1,929.7 on Saturday, the highest it’s been since Sept. 7.


The Georgia Department of Public Health in Atlanta reported a total of 384,997 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at 2:50 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14. According to the health department’s website, that includes 2,553 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours. In addition, Georgia reported 616 new antigen-positive cases over the last 24 hours, which are considered to be probable cases of COVID-19.

Georgia has reported 8,462 deaths so far from COVID-19, with 51 more deaths recorded in the last 24 hours. Georgia also reported 494 “probable” deaths since the pandemic started from COVID-19. These probable deaths include fatalities with indirect evidence of COVID-19.

Georgia reported 33,216 hospitalizations — 127 more than the day before — and 6,220 admissions so far to intensive-care units. The percentage of ICU beds in use statewide dropped slightly to 81.5 percent of capacity, but not all of these beds are being used by COVID-19 patients. About 27 percent of total ventilators available in Georgia are currently in use.

No information is available from Georgia about how many patients have recovered.

Counties in or near metro Atlanta and other metropolitan areas continue to have the highest number of positives, with Fulton County still in the lead.

  1. Fulton County: 33,797 cases — 247 new

  2. Gwinnett County: 33,337 cases — 249 new

  3. Cobb County: 23,870 cases — 214 new

  4. DeKalb County: 23,471 cases — 204 new

  5. Hall County: 11,443 cases — 51 new

  6. Chatham County: 9,978 — 44 new

  7. Clayton County: 9,048— 60 new

  8. Richmond County: 8,736 — 56 new

  9. Cherokee County: 8,081 — 93 new

  10. Bibb County: 6,974 — 27 new

Counties in or near metro Atlanta also continue to have the most deaths from COVID-19.

  1. Fulton County: 651 deaths — 2 new

  2. Cobb County: 482 deaths — 2 new

  3. Gwinnett County: 473 deaths — 1 new

  4. DeKalb County: 425 deaths — 2 new

  5. Bibb County: 213 deaths — 1 new

  6. Chatham County: 198 deaths

  7. Dougherty County: 196 deaths

  8. Richmond County: 192 deaths

  9. Hall County: 188 deaths

  10. Clayton County: 188 deaths — 1 new

All Georgia statistics are available on the state's COVID-19 website.

Globally, more than 53.7 million people have tested positive for COVID-19, and nearly 1.31 million people have died from it, Johns Hopkins University reported Saturday.

In the United States, more than 10.8 million people have been infected and more than 245,000 people have died from COVID-19 as of Saturday. The U.S. has only about 4 percent of the world's population but more confirmed cases and deaths than any other country.

RELATED: Statewide Lockdowns Return As U.S. Tops 177K Daily Virus Cases

This article originally appeared on the East Cobb Patch