North Georgia – Positive COVID-19 test results have increased in North Georgia. The CDC has provided Omicron variant projections, but it will be a while before we have verification of the Omicron data for this area; and, as always, other related data will follow.
Health officials urge residents to make the right choices to protect themselves and their loved ones against COVID-19 and all variants. Get vaccinated, along with a booster shot. Wear a mask in public indoor spaces and with people who don’t live with you. Get tested for COVID-19 if symptomatic and before traveling or attending a social gathering.
Dr. Zachary Taylor, Interim Director of the North Georgia Health District, said, "We've been urging everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible, and we need those who are ready for their booster dose of the Pfizer, Moderna or Janssen vaccine to get that dose immediately, as well. The message is more important now than ever. People who get the booster are much less likely to become seriously ill or hospitalized.”
Vaccination is still the key protection against COVID-19 and all variants of the virus. A timely booster dose maximizes protection against both infection and serious illness.
As of today, only 30% of Georgians are fully vaccinated with an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are readily available at Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield County Health Departments with no need for an appointment during clinic hours. Go to bit.ly/COVID19Vaccine-NorthGAHealth. Plus, COVID-19 vaccine is available by both public and private healthcare providers throughout Georgia. These locations can be found at dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine.
Anyone who is 16 or older and was previously vaccinated can get a booster dose once six months have passed since their last dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months have passed since they received a dose of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine. People over 50 and those with significant underlying health conditions are especially encouraged to get a booster.
Although public health experts are not currently recommending that those who are vaccinated or have received the booster dose avoid group gatherings, they are urging caution. Ways they can reduce their risk of becoming exposed or spreading COVID-19 include:
- Staying home and isolating themselves if they develop COVID-19 symptoms, which can often resemble cold or flu symptoms
- Getting a COVID-19 test promptly if symptoms develop
- Getting a COVID-19 test before traveling or gathering with people who do not live with you, and again three to five days after traveling or gathering
- Wear masks or face coverings in indoor public spaces, and when gathering indoors with people who do not live with you
Free COVID-19 PRC testing is available through public health in North Georgia at MAKO Medical sites. Go to this link to learn more and to register for testing: bit.ly/FREECoVTestingInNorthGA. Statewide lists of both commercial and DPH/MAKO Medical Testing sites are available at dph.georgia.gov/covidtesting. Also, home COVID-19 tests are fast, convenient, and available at many drugstores.
Visit nghd.org/covid-19-central for updates and more information about the COVID-19 pandemic and response in the North Georgia Health District.