Per capita, Georgia has reported the most cases per day over a 7-day average of any state, followed by Texas and Florida. All three states are led by governors who pushed to reopen during the spring, saw major summer surges of cases and are currently pushing to reopen schools.
Georgia leads the pack in per capita cases
Though conditions in some areas of Georgia have improved modestly in recent weeks, the task force said Georgia remains in the red zone for severity of the outbreak as measured by rate of case growth and test positivity, the AJC reported.
“Georgia’s small gains are fragile and statewide progress will require continued, expanded, and stronger mitigation efforts, including in all open schools,” according to the White House report obtained by the AJC.
The AJC reported that the White House Coronavirus Task Force continues to recommend that Georgia close bars and gyms, restrict indoor dining at restaurants to one-quarter capacity in the highest risk counties, and limit social gatherings to 10 or fewer people, even within families.
In a statement to CNN, Kemp’s office said the governor and Georgia Department of Health “Urge Georgians to wear a mask, watch their distance, wash their hands, and follow public health guidelines.”
“Georgia continues to make strong progress in the fight against COVID-19,” according to the statement emailed to CNN by Gov. Kemp’s press secretary Cody Hall. “Our 7-day average of new cases is down 26%, our hospitalizations are down 19%, and the 7-day average of positive tests is down to 9.4%. Georgia’s transmission rate is 0.85 and testing capacity remains high but underutilized. This data is encouraging, but we cannot take our foot off the gas.”
Universities rethinking amid outbreaks
“It’s just extremely difficult to consider yourself to be in a bubble when there is a very high level of community spread around you or when people are coming from all over the country and congregating on college campuses,” said Dr. Leana Wen, the former Baltimore City Health Commissioner. “You can’t keep coronavirus out.”
All undergraduate classes at the University of Notre Dame will be remote for the next two weeks after 147 students tested positive for coronavirus, the president announced this week.
At Appalachian State University, in North Carolina, a cluster was associated with the football team. Iowa State University said 175 students tested positive for the virus — about 2.2% of those tested — during move-in.
At Colorado College, all 155 students in one dorm have been forced to quarantine after the college learned of a student who tested positive and did not practice proper social distancing guidelines.
At Drake University, 14 students were asked to leave the campus for two weeks after violating an agreement signed by students that outlined health and safety protocols for the year.
North Carolina State University, Oklahoma State University, Northeast Mississippi Community College, Western Kentucky University and East Carolina University have all reported significant numbers of cases as well.
While older Americans and those with underlying conditions are at greater risk of severe illness, health officials have emphasized it’s not only those populations that should be cautious.
And younger people who may recover from the virus with minimal symptoms and in many cases don’t require hospitalization, still can have “residual symptoms for weeks and sometimes month,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“We’d better be careful when we say ‘Young people who don’t wind up in the hospital are fine, let them get infected, it’s OK.’ No, it’s not OK,” Fauci said during an American Society for Microbiology briefing on Monday.
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Naomi Thomas, Annie Grayer, Jamiel Lynch, Giovanna Van Leeuwen and Jennifer Henderson contributed to this report.