Governor Brian Kemp reopened Georgia on Friday, April 24th, against all advice. Even Donald Trump criticized the decision. Now we are seeing the impact this decision is having, just 7 days later. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that the Georgia Department of Public Health reported an additional 1,000 cases of COVID in the last 24 hours, bringing their total number of confirmed (ie, tested, which they aren't doing a lot of) to over 27,000. Over 1,140 Georgians have died from COVID, with 33 dying since mid-day Thursday.
To be clear, Governor Kemp ignored widely accepted medical advice that it would be unwise for any city or state to "reopen" their economy, even with rules in place, until they saw not only a flattening, but a decrease in cases. And the standard is AT LEAST 14 days of lowering cases. Georgia has not seen that. In fact, cases continue to CLIMB by the hundreds each day in metro Atlanta alone.
AJC reports that there are "at least 2,845 cases of the virus in Fulton County, 2,041 in DeKalb, 1,818 in Gwinnett, 1,660 in Cobb, 1,364 in Hall, 720 in Clayton, 491 in Henry, 474 in Cherokee, 370 in Carroll, 322 in Douglas, 317 in Bartow, 304 in Forsyth, 198 in Newton, 191 in Rockdale and 188 in Paulding."
That is A LOT of active cases.
Now Governor Kemp is saying that residents should "stay home whenever possible, and businesses must continue to operate under strict social distancing guidelines until May 13. The elderly and medically fragile remain under a shelter-in-place order through June 12"
But how will people get their tattoos done or their roots colored or their nails manicured? And hello, bowling alleys and dine-in restaurants? These are all clearly necessary for life, right (sarcasm font)?
To be fair, there is a concerted effort to test more people in Georgia this week. Georgia's public health commissioner, Dr. Kathleen Toomey, would like to have 100,000 new tests completed in the next 10 days. Just last week, the state was averaging around 7,000 tests a day.
Next Friday, May 8th, will be a full 14 days since numerous business reopened. Although many are opting to forego their root touchup or bowling practice, we may still see a spike in cases of people that chose to jump on the chance to return to their "normal" lives.
But to hide this devastating data, Georgia is backdating their cases to make it look like the cases are dropping when they clearly are not:
Twitter responded to the news about the spike in cases:
How will Governor Brian Kemp spin this? He can't. Death and sickness are unspinnable.