ATLANTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced Wednesday afternoon via Twitter that the state will not lock down or impose statewide mask mandates.
"As the first state in the country to reopen over a year ago, we’ve proven that Georgians know how to come together and protect themselves and their loved ones," Kemp wrote.
According to Kemp, the data clearly shows "medical miracles" in multiple vaccines that protect from the virus and save lives.
He also said nearly all the new COVID-19 hospitalizations in Georgia are among the unvaccinated.
"My family, myself, and other state leaders have all rolled up their sleeves and gotten their shot," wrote Kemp. "I encourage all Georgians who have concerns or questions to talk to a medical provider and get vaccinated as quickly as possible."
The biggest obstacle to getting more people vaccinated and the country returning to normal is the mixed messages from Washington D.C. and those with partisan agendas. In Georgia, we have been consistent.
Georgia will not lock down or impose statewide mask mandates.
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) July 28, 2021
The Georgia Department of Health released the letter below regarding the increase in coronavirus in the state shortly after Kemp's tweet.
With COVID cases on the rise across our region, the Georgia Department of Public Health’s South Health District wants to encourage all eligible individuals who have not been vaccinated to do so.
Within the 10 counties that South Health District serves (Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Tift and Turner) 693 new cases were reported from July 21-July 28, more than doubling the previous seven days (July 15-22) when 275 new cases were reported.
Vaccination continues to be the most important step that individuals can take to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 as well as the new COVID-19 variants. Data has shown that vaccinations currently available under the Food and Drug Administrations’ Emergency Use Authorization do offer some protection against the new variants.
“Anyone who is unvaccinated is at risk of contracting and getting seriously ill from COVID-19,” said District Health Director Dr. William Grow, MD, FACP. “We know that, with the Delta variant becoming more prevalent, younger populations are more at risk of serious illness than with the original virus strain. Now is the time to get vaccinated so that we can slow this surge. Don’t wait until it is too late.”
Nearly 60% of Georgians are not fully vaccinated, and that number is much higher in some of the counties South Health District serves. As new cases increase and hospitalization rates rise, it is more important than ever that anyone who has not been vaccinated get vaccinated.
In addition to vaccination, South Health District continues to encourage everyone to practice other mitigation steps including mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and avoiding crowded settings.
Overcoming COVID and returning to normal life can only happen if everyone works together.
Contact your local health department today to schedule a vaccination appointment.