Coronavirus numbers in Georgia start to decline, but are still high

In a briefing at the state Capitol late Thursday, Gov. Brian Kemp said while some metrics have improved, Georgians should continue to take precautions to avoid contracting or spreading coronavirus.

"It is absolutely critical that my fellow Georgians continue following the guidance and guidelines that we've talked about for months and months now," said Gov. Kemp. "Wear your mask. Watch your distance.  Continue washing your hands."

According to the latest numbers from the state, Georgia had 5,332 COVID-19 hospitalizations as of 3:00 p.m. That is the lowest number in two weeks. The positivity rate has also declined from 19.5% on January 5 to 16.7% as of today.

Deaths, however, have increased in recent days to a total of 11,511 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Gov. Kemp also urged caution and patience as the state continues to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. The federal government currently allocates 120,000 doses to Georgia each week.  The first 40,000 had been going to CVS and Walgreens to vaccinate those in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Starting next week, the state will get all 120,000, though the governor said it will still take time to vaccinate all those in Phase 1A+.

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