Cobb County issues declaration of emergency as COVID-19 cases surge

Cobb County on Thursday issued a declaration of emergency as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb across the state.

The order cites "the dramatic increase in hospitalizations that has left the county ‘critically low’ on critical care beds, as well as noting the increase in positivity rates for the virus and low vaccination rates compared to elsewhere in the country."

Chairwoman Lisa Cupid said she signed the declaration to help respond to the latest surge.

"Public health officials are urging us to do whatever we can to encourage people to get the COVID vaccine and wear masks while near other people," Chairwoman Cupid said.  "This declaration will open the doors to provide assistance to others in the county who need it and highlight the critical stress this surge has put on our local healthcare facilities."

In addition to the county being able to more freely redirect resources to fight the virus to places such as local hospitals, it also strongly encourages all county residents to mask up and for businesses to re-implement measures requiring masks indoors "for the protection of employees and customers."

The declaration will be in effect for 30 days but could be extended if needed.

In the last two weeks, 3,536 new COVID-19 cases were reported, or about 449 new cases for every 100,000 residents, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Statewide, the GDPH reported 9,836 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the two-week daily average to 6,576 as of Thursday afternoon. Current hospitalizations continue to climb with more than 4,900 COVID-19 patients having been admitted, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Just under 4.36 million Georgians or about 47.4% of those eligible to receive one of the three COVID-19 vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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