Georgia sets record with 3,000 new COVID-19 cases in last 24 hours

Georgia has set another single-day record for an increase in confirmed coronavirus cases in the state. Nearly 3,000 new cases were added Wednesday as Georgia's governor continues to urge residents to mask up.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, 84,237 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. That's an increase of 2,946 cases within the last 24-hours.

Hospitalizations have also seen a significant increase. According to the GDPH, 11,275 people were hospitalized with the virus with 2,357 of those taking up an ICU bed, the GDPH reports.

This as Georgia sets a milestone on testing, surpassing the one million mark. Of those tests, 855,038 were the "viral" or "swab" tests with another 157,971 being the antibody test.

Meanwhile, deaths in the state remain at a much lower rate than at the start of the pandemic. The GDPH reports as of Wednesday 2,827 deaths, an increase of 22 in the last 24-hours.

Governor Brian Kemp began his "Wear a Mask" fly-around tour Wednesday morning ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend in hopes of encouraging Georgians to wear face coverings amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The governor said he will not make masks mandatory and has not commented on if the state would take action on local municipalities, such as Savannah, for implementing such measures.

Health experts Emory University weighed in on masks Wednesday morning asking the governor to pull the trigger on making them mandatory. They also are warning people about gathering to celebrate the Fourth of July.

In DeKalb County, where the GDPH has reported the third-highest number of cases at 5,959 and 917 hospitalizations as of Wednesday, officials are planning to activate the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s warning system to send residents and visitors an alert about the threat of COVID-19 throughout the county during Fourth of July celebrations.

SEE ALSO: Health officials ask people to evaluate risk before going to crowded bars, clubs

While other states seeing a similar rise in coronavirus cases, such as Florida, Arizona, Texas, and California, have moved to reverse reopenings or impose new restrictions, Gov. Kemp has steadfastly declined to do so, saying the restrictions already in place are sufficient.

In other developments Wednesday, the schools within the Atlanta University Center announced they plan to require COVID-19 of all students and faculty as well as make masks mandatory while on campus.

And at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the main checkpoint was shut down for a time for cleaning after another TSA officer tested positive for COVID-19. Nearly 30 screening officers in Atlanta have tested positive for COVID-19

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Best prevention measures:

• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.

• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces


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The Associated Press contributed to this article