ATLANTA — The number of people hospitalized in Georgia because of COVID-19 hase risen to 1,000, erasing a month’s worth of progress and showing that an accompanying increase in confirmed infections is leading to serious illness.
Coronavirus infections have been rising throughout June and are now at the highest level since the pandemic began. Georgia has averaged 1,073 infections reported daily over the last seven days, according to figures kept by The Associated Press. Since Friday, the average has been higher than the previous peak of 857 set on April 13.
Almost 66,000 Georgians have now been infected since the start of the outbreak, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported, and 2,648 people have died statewide.
The surge in infections comes nearly two months since Georgia began lifting restrictions April 24 on hair salons, gyms, bowling alleys and other businesses that had been forced to close to slow the virus. Restaurants, retail stores and bars have since reopened as well.
Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said Monday he’s so alarmed by the rapidly increase in infections that he wants to require people to wear masks in public places. He asked the city’s attorney to begin drawing up an emergency order to make face coverings mandatory.