ATLANTA - Gov. Brian Kemp announced Friday he was extending the public health state of emergency and renewing current COVID-19 restrictions.
The public health state of emergency is now in effect through December 9.
In Georgia, the broadest measure of COVID-19 cases, which includes rapid antigen tests as well as the more precise genetic tests, shows the number of confirmed and probable cases was 18% higher in the week that ended Friday compared to the week before, according to a report issued Monday by the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The state recorded 10,086 genetic positives and 2,564 antigen positives last week, tipping Georgia back above 100 weekly cases per 100,000 people, one measure of rapid spread.
Georgia still remains far off its July peaks, when it was averaging 3,700 cases per day, worst in the nation at the time.
The share of positive genetic tests has risen above 7% statewide in Georgia from a low of 5.5% as late as Oct. 15, suggesting more rapid spread in communities. Experts say that if more than 5% of tests are coming back positive, it suggests that too few tests are being done and many infections may be going undetected.
Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey said earlier this month that the state was planning to include positive rapid antigen tests in its daily report, but has not yet done so. Many other states count those tests no differently than genetic tests, but Georgia officials said they’re worried about the higher rate of false results on the antigen tests.
Of the state’s 159 counties, 126 counties recorded more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.