To receive a daily email with COVID19 updates from Georgia STEM, just enter your name and email below. You can unsubscribe at any time
March 18, 2020, 11:00 am
New information about Pregnancy and COVID-19. Check out the latest scientific research in the new post.
March 18, 2020, 10:12 am
Worldwide the number of infections top 200,000 people and deaths top 8,000. To compare, we have to look at the fatality rate R-0 of the virus. We have to get the transmission rate down to get this thing under control.
To learn more about R-0 and for a better explanation, visit
March 17, 2020, 3:12 pm
Math Update and Explanation- Watch the video and visit COVID Math for more numbers and data.
March 16, 2020, 6:52 pm
Gov. Kemp and Superintendent Woods announce Suspension of State Testing for students and the Evaluation system used for teachers and administrators.
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues and many public schools are closed to ensure the safety of students and staff, State School Superintendent Richard Woods is suspending the following until further notice:
|▪||State assessment window/administration (including Georgia Milestones EOGs and EOCs, the Georgia Alternate Assessment/GAA 2.0, and all other required testing)|
|▪||Teacher and leader evaluation (TKES/LKES) requirements and reporting|
|▪||State-level attendance-related consequences (including CCRPI, TKES/LKES, School Climate Star Rating, and make-up day requirements)|
“Right now, schools’ focus needs to be on the safety of their students and staff,” Superintendent Woods said. “The focus should be first and foremost on health and safety, then on flexible and creative ways to keep learning and growing. It’s common sense: testing and accountability requirements should not place an additional burden on students, parents, and educators during this time, and they will not in Georgia.”
At the State Board of Education meeting on March 27 (which will be conducted via teleconference), Superintendent Woods will recommend the approval of a package of waivers, including suspension of the 20% course grade requirement for the Georgia Milestones EOC.
The Georgia Department of Education will seek the maximum authority and waivers afforded by the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies to accommodate this ever-evolving situation. Click here for the most recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Education regarding assessment and accountability during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Other COVID-19 Updates
GaDOE previously announced that Georgia received waivers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend meal service flexibility, allowing schools to serve students’ meals through USDA-approved meal service options at state-approved sites within the community – similar to the way schools and districts offer student meals during the summer months. As of Monday morning, 102 school district applications had been approved by GaDOE’s school nutrition staff. Please check local school district websites and social media sources for information on how to access local sites.
We continue to post updated information, including student learning resources and a tracking tool for school closures, to gadoe.org/coronavirus.
Finally, the Department wishes to thank Governor Kemp and his staff for their leadership and partnership, along with dedicated district and school leaders, educators, parents, and students who are coming together and working hard to ensure Georgia’s students are safe and well during the COVID-19 outbreak.
March 16, 2020, 3:45 pm
Atlanta Mayor announces ban on public gatherings:
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has announced a ban on public gatherings in the city amid the coronavirus pandemic, Raisa Habersham reported. “In an effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, I have declared a State of Emergency within the city of Atlanta, prohibiting large public gatherings
Athens Mayor puts Curfew up to vote at 5 pm – More information coming about details if it passes
Cases continue to increase and spread widens despite efforts to promote social distancing. The graph below comes from our continual COVID Math update showing the infection rate in Georgia and the counties that are affected. Counties showing in Yellow on the graph are new within the last 2 days. Counties in Red are new within the last 24 hours.
You can also view the GIS Map of Georgia Infected along with the school closures that are reported in those locations.
The CDC tells citizens to limit mass gatherings of more than 50 people. Trump lowers recommendation in press conference to gatherings of 10 people.
Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.
Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.
- Total cases: 3,487
- Total deaths: 68
- Jurisdictions reporting cases: 53 (49 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands)
For up to date math from the CDC, WHO and JHU, view the COVID Math post:
Nine new countries/territories/areas (African Region , European Region  and Region of Americas ) have reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. WHO high-level technical mission concluded a visit to Iraq to support the Iraqi Ministry of Health in their COVID-19 prevention and containment measures. WHO is working around the clock to establish 3 negative-pressure rooms in Baghdad, Erbil, and Basra to accommodate patients who might require more sophisticated medical treatment.
March 15, 2020, 8:05 pm
For the first time since we began tracking the virus transmission rate, it reaches 1.5 people per minute and 90 people per hour. See the raw data below or more at COVID Math
March 15, 2020 , 12:53 am
CDC- School closures may need to extend to 8 weeks to mitigate virus.
Closing schools for eight weeks or more may have a greater impact on mitigating the spread of the novel coronavirus than two- to four-week closures, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said.
Shorter-term closures will likely make little difference in the spread of the disease, new CDC guidance states, even as K-12 school districts across the country began announcing school closures within the shorter time frame. Most districts in a Georgia who have closed are planning to resume in late March or early April.
The only exception right now are Cobb, Dekalb and Fulton which are closed until further notice.
Closing schools also comes with its own setbacks, namely a potentially negative impact on academic outcomes, along with the fact that many children rely on free and reduced school lunch program for their daily caloric intake. CDC also acknowledged these complex issues in its updated guidelines.
The Department of Education recently issued its own guidance to educators about its flexibility related to student absences and testing standards.
In any school closure, students could still congregate outside of school and spread the disease, the CDC acknowledged. This is of higher concern with high school students who are independently mobile.
We will keep you updated as Georgia Superintendents update their system plans.
Convalescent Plasma May be a treatment option.
March 14, 2020, 9:10 pm
National Guard called to help the State of Georgia deal with #COVID19GA. Presidential Primary delayed until May 19.
Georgia election officials are postponing the state’s March 24 presidential primaries until May 19th because of fears over the coronavirus.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in a statement that in-person early voting, which began statewide March 2, will be halted and the election will be moved to May 19, when Georgia’s other 2020 primary elections are being held.
The action followed Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature of an emergency declaration that unlocked sweeping powers to fight #COVID19GA. In a speech Saturday, the governor renewed a call for places of worship, schools and others to consider canceling large gatherings as cases in the state rise.
Charlton County remains the only county with a confirmed case who has refused to cancel its public schools. (as of March 14, 2020 at 9:22 pm)
The National Guard, up to 2,000 troops, have also been called to help Georgia with its #COVID19GA response.
“To assist with COVID-19 mitigation and critical services, including the transfer of Georgians currently at Dobbins Air Reserve Base to their homes, the Georgia National Guard will now be available to communities to ensure the steady supply of medical equipment, food, shelter, or related materials to keep Georgians safe in the weeks ahead,” Kemp said in a statement.
The virus has also caused Louisana to push back their Presidential Primaries as well.
March 14, 2020, 3:46 pm
Latest Facts and Figures:
- US Suspends all travel- Including the UK and Ireland, adding them to the travel ban already in place.
- There are 153, 585 cases with 5,789 deaths worldwide.
- 2,571 cases are in Georgia with 51 total deaths
- West Virginia becomes the only US state without a confirmed case.
- Infection rate is increasing. Current rate is 86 people confirmed an hour or a little over 1 person a minute.
- Testing is a problem. There is higher demand for testing than can be completed.
- GDPH says Georgia has the capacity to run 50 tests a day. They hope to double that by early next week.
- CDC recommends that people over 50 do not travel.
- France- All non-essential businesses to close after cases of confirmed COVID jump to 3, 672 with 79 deaths.
- 5 new Countries reported cases in the past 24 hours (Jersey, Reunion, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Cuba, and Guyana)
- WHO risk assessment is VERY HIGH at the Global Level.
- To Model Good Behavior- WHO has switched to teleconferencing and recommends that others also switch to platforms that allow communication without direct contact.
- Georgia releases a new Daily Update platform to attempt to increase transparency. They do remove the inclusion of presumptive cases to simplify the data.
- Charlton County Public Schools remains the only county in Georgia who has a confirmed case who has decided to remain open
March 13, 2020, 10:26 pm
We just updated the math based on the Johns Hopkins GIS map. This is the first time since we started updating the math in Feb. 2020 that we do not feel like the data is correct. If you zoom in on the map, you will see that the data for Georgia is just not available. Even without our data and several other states, the US topped 2,000 active cases for the first time today and worldwide is approaching 150,000. We will continue to seek dad from the Georgia Department of Public Health And see if we can again be confident in our numbers.
March 13, 2020, 5:27 pm
URGENT- So as you all who have been following our COVID updates since back in Feb- you know we have been tracking and maintaining COVID Math data and also adding to a real-time update. We started this 2 weeks before most of the major news outlets. We are a small non-profit with a very limited number of followers but we still think it is important to provide accurate data and be a source you can trust. Yesterday, we pulled the US data off the JHU map and added it to our database. The US had 1663 cases and we timestamped it at 12:03 am this morning. We also had 40 deaths. Since 8 am this morning, data has started to disappear from the map. Georgia data is completely missing, for example. Now the US numbers say there are only 1268 cases and 33 deaths.
We need some advice from our followers- How essential is it to you all that we have data that is current and reliable? Are you all concerned about the numbers and following them or has it become just another piece of information?
Georgia has stopped reporting county level data as well now. They will only provide a range of cases for each county. They are also not reporting how many they are testing and presumptive cases are no longer available as a data point. We have also lost the data related to recovery and deaths. We assume deaths will be reported but they are no longer in the raw data.
What are your thoughts? Please- we are sincerely interested. Comment below and if you feel led- please share on social media so we can get a consensus. Are we overreacting because we love data or is this a problem?
You can also comment on our covid update post or the covid math post or even on the map-
March 13, 2020, 5:07 pm
We investigated why Charlton County is the only public school system with a confirmed case in their county who has not closed its public school system. Here is the press release from the superintendent.
March 13, 2020, 4:53 pm
We reached out to our contact at Johns Hopkins and they are having trouble obtaining data from the Georgia Department of Public Health as well. If you notice in the image below- Their map of the entire US has been missing the Georgia “Dot” all day? To say they are frustrated is an understatement. Our source, which asked to remain anonymous said, “We have a lot of data to process. We try to keep the map updated every 15 min. We don’t have time to call and argue with every state department in the US every 15 min as well as all the countries in the world to try and convince them to provide their numbers. This is unchartered territory and they are making it even harder to track, contain and mitigate this Pandemic”. We are currently working on a post to explain why the US numbers seem so “odd” as compared to other countries and will be posting that as soon as possible.
March 13, 2020, 4:44 pm
Currently, as of March 13, 2020, there are 42 cases in Georgia. The Georgia Department of Public Health is no longer releasing presumptive case numbers and will no longer report the exact number of cases in each county. The CDC did provide a report detailing the location of the cases on March 12, 2020. The map includes the data points as well as the range provided by the CDC and GDPH and also the status of the local school system in that county. For the current map and data, click the link below:
March 13, 2020, 12:27 am
Current list of School Closures and Information is posted below from the GaDOE. You can also see the list as posted on the DOE website.
Atlanta Public Schools
All schools in the Atlanta Public Schools district are closed beginning Monday, March 16.
Barrow County Schools
Barrow County Schools is closed for two weeks beginning Monday, March 16 and re-opening Monday, March 30.
Bartow County Schools
Bartow County Schools will begin a 14-day shutdown beginning Monday, March 16. Students will return to school on Monday, March 30.
Bremen City Schools
All schools in the Bremen City Schools district will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27.
Buford City Schools
Buford City Schools are closed from March 16 through March 20.
Carroll County Schools
Carroll County Schools are closed beginning Monday, March 16 for a possible two-week period.Click here for Carroll County Schools’ announcement.
Carrollton City Schools
All schools in the Carrollton City Schools district will be closed beginning Monday, March 16.
Cartersville City Schools
All schools in the Cartersville City Schools district will be closed beginning Monday, March 16 and remain closed through Sunday, March 29. Beginning on Tuesday, March 17, Cartersville City Schools will observe digital learning days until students return to school.
Catoosa County Schools
All schools in the Cobb County Schools district are closed until further notice.
Cherokee County Schools
Cherokee County Schools will be closed for two weeks from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. The district will use digital learning days during the closure to continue teaching and learning.
Clarke County Schools
Clarke County Schools are closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20.Click here for Clarke County Schools’ announcement.
Clayton County Schools
Clayton County Schools are closed for further notice beginning Monday, March 16.
Cobb County Schools
Kincaid Elementary School is closed beginning March 12 and scheduled to reopen Thursday, March 26.
Coweta County Schools
Coweta County Schools are closed from March 13 through March 27.Click here for Coweta County Schools’ announcement.
Dade County Schools
Dade County Schools are closed March 16 through March 27.Click here for Dade County Schools’ announcement.
Decatur City Schools
All schools in the Decatur City Schools district are closed beginning Friday, March 13.
DeKalb County Schools
DeKalb County Schools is closed beginning March 16, 2020.
Fannin County Schools
Fannin County Schools are closed March 16 through March 20.Click here for Fannin County Schools’ announcement.
Fayette County Schools
Fayette County Schools are closed Friday, March 13.Click here for Fayette County Schools’ announcement.
Floyd County Schools
Floyd County Schools will remain closed for all staff and students through Wednesday, March 25 with current plans of classes resuming Thursday, March 26.
Forsyth County Schools
Forsyth County Schools have a scheduled Professional Learning Day (no school for students) on March 13. For the week of March 16-20, Forsyth County Schools will hold online learning days Click here for Forsyth County Schools’ announcement.
Fulton County Schools
All schools in the Fulton County Schools district are closed until further notice.
Gainesville City Schools
Gainesville City Schools is closed March 16 through March 20. Click here for Gainesville City Schools’ announcement.
Gilmer County Schools
Gilmer County Schools is closed March 16 through March 20.Click here for Gilmer County Schools’ announcement
Greene County Schools
Greene County Schools is closed for three weeks beginning Monday, March 16. Unless otherwise notified, students should plan to return to school on Monday, April 6.Click here for Greene County Schools’ announcement.
Gwinnett County Schools
Friday, March 13 is a scheduled student/teacher holiday for Gwinnett County Public Schools. For the week of March 16-20, GCPS will hold Digital Learning Days. On Thursday, March 19, the school system will announce its plans for March 23-27.
Habersham County Schools
All schools in the Habersham County Schools district will close for two weeks beginning Monday, March 16.
Hall County Schools
All schools in the Hall County Schools district will be conducting “school from home” beginning Monday, March 16. The district will monitor closely and assess the situation to determine if school from home should extended beyond one week, and stakeholders will be notified by the end of the business day on Thursday, March 19, 2020.
Heard County Schools
All schools in the Heard County Schools district are closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27.
Henry County Schools
All schools in the Henry County Schools district are closed beginning Monday, March 16.
Jackson County Schools
Jackson County Schools is closed from March 16 through March 30.Click here for Jackson County Schools’ announcement.
Lumpkin County Schools
Lumpkin County Schools is closed beginning Monday, March 16 for a minimum of one week.Click here for Lumpkin County Schools’ announcement.
Madison County Schools
Madison County Schools is closed from March 16 through March 30.Click here for Madison County Schools’ announcement.
Marietta City Schools
All schools in the Marietta City Schools district are closed beginning Monday, March 16 for at least two weeks.
Morgan County Schools
All schools in the Morgan County Schools district are closed for the week of March 16 through March 20. The district will reevaluate next Thursday, March 29 and determine whether continued closing is needed.
Oconee County Schools
Oconee County Schools is closed from March 16 through March 27.Click here for Oconee County Schools’ announcement.
Paulding County Schools
Paulding County Schools is closed beginning March 16 with plans to reopen March 30.Click here for Paulding County Schools’ announcement.
Pelham City Schools
All schools in the Pelham City Schools district are closed Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13.
Pickens County Schools
Pickens County Schools is closed from March 16 through March 27. Click here for Pickens County Schools’ announcement.
Pike County Schools
All schools in the Pike County Schools district are closed Friday, March 13.
Polk County Schools
Polk County Schools are closed from March 16 to March 27, 2020.
Rockdale County Schools
Rockdale County Schools is closed and will have Independent Learning Days from March 16 to March 27, 2020.
Rome City Schools
All schools in the Rome City Schools district are closed Friday, March 13 and Monday, March 16.
Social Circle City Schools
Social Circle City Schools is closed for up to two weeks beginning Monday, March 16.Click here for Social Circle City Schools’ announcement.
Telfair County Schools
Telfair County Schools is implementing an early release March 12 at 12:30 p.m. All schools in the Telfair County Schools district are closed Friday, March 13 for students and staff.
Thomaston-Upson Schools are closed from Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 17.Click here for Thomaston-Upson Schools’ announcement.
Towns County Schools
Towns County Schools are closed and utilizing online learning starting Monday, March 16.
Valdosta City Schools
All schools in the Valdosta City Schools district were closed on Wednesday, March 11. All schools reopened on Wednesday, March 12. Valdosta City Schools officials will meet early Friday morning to discuss the Governor’s recommendations for future school closures. An official statement will be released by the end of the day on Friday.
White County Schools
White County Schools are closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20.Click here for White County Schools’ announcement.
March 12, 2020, 12:29 pm
Cobb County Schools
Kincaid Elementary School is closed beginning March 12 and scheduled to reopen Thursday, March 26. Click here for Cobb County Schools’ announcement.
Floyd County Schools
Cave Spring Elementary School is closed to staff March 12 and 13. Those dates are already student holidays as indicated on Floyd County Schools’ 2019-20 school year calendar. Floyd County Schools has rescheduled a teacher planning day to Monday, March 16. This will be a student holiday. Click here for Floyd County Schools’ announcement.
Fulton County Schools
Woodland Middle School is closed and scheduled to reopen Monday, March 23. Note this school was initially scheduled to reopen Tuesday, March 17. Bear Creek Middle School is closed and scheduled to reopen Monday, March 23. All other schools in the Fulton County Schools district are closed and scheduled to reopen Thursday, March 12. Click here for Fulton County Schools’ announcement.
Telfair County Schools
Telfair County Schools is implementing an early release March 12 at 12:30 p.m. All schools in the Telfair County Schools district are closed Friday, March 13 for students and staff. Click here for Telfair County Schools’ announcement.
Valdosta City Schools
All schools in the Valdosta City Schools district were closed on Wednesday, March 11. All schools reopened on Wednesday, March 12. Click here for Valdosta City Schools’ announcement.
March 11, 2020, 10:30 pm
There are now 31 COVID-19 cases in Georgia. 12 confirmed cases by the CDC and 19 which have tested positive at a medical center and are awaiting confirmation from the CDC. The GIS map is updated with the current data as of Wed. March 11, 2020 at 10:00 pm
Georgia will receive 34 passengers who were on the Grand Princess cruise ship and will be brought to the Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta. The base has a capacity of 151, and there are additional spaces at Clay National Guard Center. A total of 200 passengers from the ship are expected to be relocated to Georgia.
Second Fulton County Schools employee tests positive for coronavirus
A second Fulton County Schools employee has tested positive for COVID-19, Fulton County Schools confirmed Wednesday.
The employee worked at Woodland Middle School, which was already closed due to a separate employee who worked at both Woodland Middle School and Bear Creek Middle School, possibly exposing others at the school.
Woodland Middle School was originally scheduled to re-open on March 17, but that date has been moved to March 23 since the second employee was last known to be in the school on March 9. School officials also said Bear Middle School will re-open on March 23.
All other schools in the systems are scheduled to re-open on March 12.
Cobb County elementary school closes for 14 days following positive coronavirus case
Cobb County Schools made the announcement on Wednesday that Kincaid Elementary School will be closed for the next two weeks. That decision came after the Georgia Department of Public Health informed the district about the case.
Officials will be cleaning and sanitizing the entire campus and all the school buses which service the school.
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations canceled
The “luck of Irish” will have no major impact on keeping the coronavirus from spreading. To that end, several St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have been canceled. In Georgia, the parade in Atlanta has been canceled while the festivities in Savannah have been postponed.
Floyd County man tested positive days after being turned away from hospital
A Floyd County man who has COVID-19 may have accidentally exposed others after originally being sent home from the hospital without being tested. This mirrors another case, a female patient, who was also treated and released because she did not meet testing criteria before she returned a few days later and became the third person to be confirmed in the state of Georgia with COVID-19
President Trump announces in a National Address that the US is suspending all travel to Europe (except the UK) for the next 30 days.
The Ivy League Schools (8 schools) have canceled the remainder of their spring sports seasons. Many Ivy League schools are choosing to go online for the rest of the semester. Harvard has announced that it is closing dorms and issuing refunds to students at a prorated rate for the rest of the semester.
The NBA suspends all games after Wed March 11, 2020 after Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz player tests positive for COVID-19
The Final Four will be played but will not allow spectators into the arena.
Nursing Homes are being encouraged to limit visitors and instead encourage virtual visitation. Death rate of individuals over 80 was released on Wednesday March 11, 2020 by the WHO situation update to be almost 20%
Shows taped in New York City, like the Late Show, the Tonight Show and Good Morning America, announced that they will no longer film in front of a studio audience. Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune will also forego studio audiences.
Tom and Rita Hanks announce that they contracted COVID-19 and are currently in isolation in Australia.
12,000 cases in Italy and 800 people died today. The entire country has been placed on Lockdown. They have declared residents will be granted a deferment on mortgages for the next two months.
The Pandemic data indicates that there are improvements in China and that infection rates on the mainland are decreasing.
March 11, 2020, 9:55 pm
So a lot of information has come out today and we are still verifying and compiling the facts that we have gathered. We will attempt to post the items we believe will be of the most interest to Georgia STEM followers but will add other items of national and international interest as time allows. We covet your patience and your readership as we traverse this unchartered territory together.
March 11, 2020, 9:16 pm
The Department of Human Health Services announces $14,786,284 dollars in funding to Georgia to support its efforts in mitigating the COVID-19 Pandemic.
March 11, 2020, 7:30 pm
The Georgia Department of Public Health announces a new presumptive case of COVID-19 in Lowndes County. The GIS Map has been updated accordingly.
March 11, 2020, 2:59 pm
Georgia STEM is preparing a post on Pandemics from the past and how they compare to COVID-19. Until then, you can visit CDC Past Pandemics for more information.
March 11, 2020, 2:35 pm
WHO declares COVID-19 a Pandemic.
The following is the transcript of the Media Briefing from the WHO- Director/ General on March 11, 2020
In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled. There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives.
Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals.
In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher.
WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction.
We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.
Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.
Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.
We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled, at the same time.
WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases. And we have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.
As I said on Monday, just looking at the number of cases and the number of countries affected does not tell the full story. Of the 118,000 cases reported globally in 114 countries, more than 90 percent of cases are in just four countries, and two of those – China and the Republic of Korea – have significantly declining epidemics. 81 countries have not reported any cases, and 57 countries have reported 10 cases or less.
We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough:
All countries can still change the course of this COVID-19 Pandemic.
If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace, and mobilize their people in the response, those with a handful of cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters, and those clusters becoming community transmission. Even those countries with community transmission or large clusters can turn the tide on this virus.
Several countries have demonstrated that this virus can be suppressed and controlled. The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same – it’s whether they will.
Some countries are struggling with a lack of capacity. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resources. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resolve.We are grateful for the measures being taken in Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea to slow the virus and control their epidemics.We know that these measures are taking a heavy toll on societies and economies, just as they did in China.
All countries must strike a fine balance between protecting health, minimizing economic and social disruption, and respecting human rights.
WHO’s mandate is public health. But we’re working with many partners across all sectors to mitigate the social and economic consequences of this pandemic.
This is not just a public health crisis, it is a crisis that will touch every sector – so every sector and every individual must be involved in the fight. I have said from the beginning that countries must take a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach, built around a comprehensive strategy to prevent infections, save lives and minimize impact.
Let me summarize it in four key areas.
- First, prepare and be ready.
- Second, detect, protect and treat.
- Third, reduce transmission.
- Fourth, innovate and learn.
I remind all countries that we are calling on you to activate and scale up your emergency response mechanisms. Communicate with your people about the risks and how they can protect themselves – this is everybody’s business. Find, isolate, test and treat every case and trace every contact. Ready your hospitals. Protect and train your health workers. And let’s all look out for each other, because we need each other. There’s been so much attention on one word. Let me give you some other words that matter much more, and that are much more actionable.
And most of all,
We’re in this together, to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world. It’s doable.
March 11, 2020, 11:34 am
WHO Situation report released. Key Points:
- 5 new countries/territories/areas (Brunei Darussalam, Mongolia, Cyprus, Guernsey and Panama) have reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
- WHO Director- General in his regular media that the threat of a pandemic has become very real; however, this would be the first pandemic in history that could be controlled. For details, please see here
WHO released an Epidemic Curve of confirmed COVID-19 cases reported outside of China. This graphical representation was included in the Situation Report released on March 11, 2020 (Situation Report 50)
March 11, 2020, 6:23 am
Hard Labor Creek State Park- First Patient moved to Isolation Pod.
First patient identified to be quarantined at isolation pod at Hard Labor Creek State Park. We are aware that there is a Golf Tournament at the park this weekend. We are seeking information about the availability of the park to visitors. As of yesterday, parts of the park were accessible. We are not sure if this will change with the first patient arrival.
Currently, the Georgia State Parks website states:
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which operates state parks, is working closely with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA) to ensure public safety. A remote portion of Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge has been identified as an overflow site for quarantine facilities. This area is less than 1 acre of the 6000 acres contained within park boundaries and is isolated from public areas such as the campground, cottages and golf course. The area is secured by law enforcement and public access is not allowed.
All primary amenities at the park remain open to the public including all public campgrounds, cabins and the golf course. At the request of The Department of Public Safety; Lake Rutledge Road, CCC Camp Loop Road, and boat ramp will be closed until further notice. The beach area remains closed for the winter season.Georgia State Parks
March 11, 2020, 5:48 am
Synopsis of CDC Briefing from Nancy Messonnier, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
- As the trajectory of the outbreak continues, many people in the United States will at some point in time – either this year or next – be exposed to this virus and there’s a good chance many will become sick. This seems to be a disease that affects adults. And most seriously older adults. Starting at age 60, there is an increasing risk of disease and the risk increases with age. The highest risk of serious illness and death is in people older than 80 years. People with serious underlying health conditions also are more likely to develop serious outcomes including death. The people who are at greatest risk are those older and who also have serious long-term health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or lung disease.
- Last week CDC added guidance to our website for people who are at higher risk for serious illness. Our goal is to protect you. This will require you and your family to take action.
High-Risk Individuals should:
- Make sure you have supplies on hand like routine medications for blood pressure and diabetes.
- Purchase and maintain over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies to treat fever and other symptoms.
- Have enough household items and groceries so that you will be prepared to stay home for a period of time.
- Take everyday precautions like avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Cleaning your hands often, and to the extent possible, avoid touching high touch surfaces in public places.
- Avoid crowds especially in poorly ventilated spaces.
- We also recommend that people at higher risk avoid nonessential travel such as long plane trips.
- Lastly, and most importantly, know what’s going on in your community.
Individuals who are not High-Risk should:
- Familiarize yourself with your loved ones’ medication and help them get extra to have on hand.
- Help them also get food, medical supplies and other necessities so they can minimize trips to the store.
- Create a plan for if they get sick and if you get sick. You have to identify backups to take care of them.
- Recognize that everyone has a role to play to protect our family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbors who are at most risk.
Government officials and public health departments will make decisions on closures and quarantines based on local conditions at the time. We urge you to follow their lead.
Containment vs Mitigation: Where are we now?
I think that as we said since the beginning, respiratory viruses that are transmitted in this manner tend to spread. And what we as a community need to do is do everything we can to protect ourselves and our families and our communities so that if it does continue to spread, it is in a slower fashion so that we’re all better prepared and so that our health care sector can take care of patients.
We continue to believe that in most communities contact tracing is really appropriate because it identifies the contacts and keeping them from spreading can have a significant role in slowing this down. You likely will see in some communities like in Seattle and in California more efforts towards broad fed community mitigation as an attempt at a community level to slow this spread. I think we need to make sure that we’re listening to our local health departments. I also think people need to understand that there are personal responsibilities that we’re asking everyone in the United States to take to make sure that they’re doing their best to protect themselves and their families and their communities and right now especially to make really strong efforts to protect those who are older and at underlying risk. As a community, the United States we can really mitigate the impact of this disease and as long as we work together that, will continue to be CDC’s goal.
In Seattle and in California, they haven’t stopped entirely contact tracing but they have started mitigation. And I think that you will likely see local health departments deciding when there is community spread to start turning on more of the mitigation measures even while they’re still doing some level of contact tracing. So again, it’s not an on/off switch. It’s a dimmer. You will see I think lots more communities starting to implement some kind of mitigation measures when they’re seeing community spread. It will look different in different places and that’s why it’s really important for folks to stay informed of what is going on in their local area and to follow their advice of the local health department.
March 11, 2020, 4:48 am
CDC briefing. Audio and transcript are both available.
Synopsis (being prepared- be patient with us. It’s 5 am and we haven’t had coffee yet)
March 10.2020 11:43 pm
Gov. Brian Kemp’s office confirmed Tuesday night that a COVID-19 patient from Cherokee County has been isolated at Hard Labor Creek State Park in one of the mobile units located there.
“The individual was not able to isolate at their primary residence and was not in critical condition requiring any hospital admittance,” the statement said. “State public health officials determined that a specific part of Hard Labor Creek State Park would be best suited for isolation as the individual is treated by medical professionals.”
On Tuesday evening, March 10th, state officials Also updated the public that there were a total of 16 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Georgia.
The presumptive positive cases are located in the following counties: three (3) in Fulton County, six (6) in Cobb County, one (1) in Fayette County, two (2) in DeKalb County, two (2) in Gwinnett County, one (1) in Cherokee County, and one (1) in Charlton County.
March 10, 2020, 11:35 pm
Fulton County Schools officials announced classes would remain closed on Wednesday after school leaders learned an employee tested positive for COVID-19, or Coronavirus.
Students and teachers will return to school on Thursday, March 12, with the exception of Bear Creek Middle School and Wooldand Middle School.
Bear Creek Middle School will be closed to students and staff until Friday, March 20, with the school reopening on Monday, March 23. Woodland Middle School will be closed to students and staff until Tuesday, March 17, with the school reopening on Wednesday, March 18.
March 10, 2020, 8:12 pm
The CDC releases additional information about the location of the presumptive cases and confirmed cases in Georgia:
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 and presumed positive cases of COVID-19 are broken down by county as follows:
Confirmed COVID-19 (6)
Fulton County 3
Floyd County 1
Polk County 1
Presumptive Positive COVID-19 (11)
Our new GIS map specific to Georgia can be seen below and at GIS-COVID Georgia
March 10, 2020, 7:48 pm
Georgia Capitol, Republican House Speaker David Ralston on Tuesday announced that the legislative page program will be suspended and visitors to the House floor will be limited. Members of the public will also be encouraged to watch proceedings via Livestream rather than attending in person.
March 10, 2020, 7:26 pm
A total of 18 people in the state have now tested positive, according to the CDC website, although some tests (6) have yet to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The current protocol is for the test to be given multiple times before the case is confirmed. Once the patient tests positive twice, they are considered a presumptive case and their sample is sent to the CDC for confirmation. The 18 cases are from eight Georgia counties: Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Fayette, Floyd, Fulton, and Polk, according to a statement from Gov. Brian Kemp.
March 10, 2020, 10:50 am
A worker at a Georgia Waffle House tested positive for COVID-19, prompting co-workers to quarantine themselves in their homes, company officials said Tuesday. The Waffle House in Northwest Atlanta was closed and is being cleaned. The corporate office did not reveal the specific location that was affected. Other Waffle Houses will probably have similar cleaning, the company based in Norcross said, on Tuesday. Waffle House is committed to making sure our customers and staff are safe and will take appropriate measures as advised by the CDC.
March 10, 2020, 9:34 am
We see a lot of misinformation online about the data comparing Influenza and COVID-19. Please continue to get information from CDC, WHO and if you feel it is appropriate- Georgia STEM. We are committed to only sharing information from research-supported sources. We caution you from getting your information from politicians, the media and even your crazy uncle who is posting on Facebook. While they can be entertaining, it is not always the most accurate information. Again, we refer you to our post about R-O, COVID-math and the COVID misconceptions post. Please reach out in the comments or post to us on any social media and we will be glad to verify the information you find or want to post. We will not pass judgment because we know this is a confusing situation for a lot of people who have no background in virology or biochemistry. We are currently preparing a post comparing Influenza to COVID. At Georgia STEM, we are blessed that we have some very well-informed people on staff who are also closely connected to the CDC. We covet your trust to be a source of information. Please let us know how we can assist you.
March 10, 2020, 9:21 am
Johns Hopkins has condensed their GIS formatting to now show data points for states instead of individual cases. This is due to the number of data points being reported. The reduction in the data circles makes the map more readable. For more information on this change to ask questions or make comments, you can go to their GitHub. We lose the specific case location information though. Georgia STEM is working on a GIS map specific to the state of Georgia. We will post as soon as it is ready. For a look at the new map format- check out
March 10, 2020, 7:00 am
Georgia daycare worker tests positive for COVID-19
Cobb County daycare was forced to close its doors after after a teacher tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19.
The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning was notified by the daycare located in the 4800 block of Baker Grove Road of the positive test result. As a result, the daycare will be closed March 10 -11 for a deep cleaning. This is the first daycare to be impacted by the global virus.
March 9, 2020, 6:45 pm
March 9, 2020, 4:20 pm
All of the following information was gathered from the Press Conference held about the employee at Fulton County Schools who has tested positive for COVID-19. The entire press conference can also be viewed at the link below.
Fulton County Schools held a press conference Monday afternoon 3:30 pm to discuss the closing of all schools on Tuesday after an employee was diagnosed with coronavirus.
Dr. Mike Looney, Superintendent of Fulton County Schools, said the person was an itinerant teacher at Bear Creek Middle School and Woodland Middle School. The teacher fell ill during their shift at Bear Creek Middle School last Friday and 911 was called. The employee is currently hospitalized. According to Looney, the teacher had “a lot of contact with students they serve and with additional staff members.”
The district said it will work with the Department of Health to help identify the names and contact information of everyone in which the teacher had contact. The district immediately closed three schools on Monday — Bear Creek Middle School, Woodland Middle School and Creekside High School. Creekside was closed because of its proximity to the middle schools, because the schools often share staff members, and since families often have students in both schools.
Looney added that closing all schools on Tuesday will give them time to pause to assess the situation and take extra precautions and cleanings. A decision on whether all schools will remain closed beyond Tuesday will be announced by 5 p.m. tomorrow.
At this time, it is unclear if the employee was in contact with someone who recently traveled to high-risk areas.
Fulton County is the 4th largest school system in the state of Georgia. More than 93,500 students attend 106 schools in the cities of Alpharetta, Chattahoochee Hills, College Park, East Point, Fairburn, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, Palmetto, Roswell, Sandy Springs, South Fulton, and Union City, according to the district.
Georgia STEM has located a video of the press conference (embedded below) and awaits the words of Gov. Kemp at 4:45 pm
March 9, 2020, 2:00 pm
Fulton County Schools employee tests positive for COVID-19. School officials sent out communication that affected schools will close immediately. They were informed at 2:00 pm. This is an ongoing situation and we will continue to seek reliable updates. A press conference is scheduled for 3:30 pm today. Gov. Kemp will hold a subsequent press conference at 4:45 pm.
Currently there are 11 confirmed cases in Georgia. Check out the post on mapping the virus for up to date numbers. It is updated by Johns Hopkins every 15 min
March 9, 2020, 1:00 pm
The WHO gives an update on #COVID19
March 8, 2020, 11:00 pm
WHO updates the social media hashtags to include #COVID19 and #Coronavirus. They issued guidance on critical preparedness, readiness and response actions.
Every country should urgently take all necessary measures to slow further spread and to protect health systems from becoming overwhelmed with patients seriously ill with #COVID19 https://t.co/4QQ7VcQPe4#coronavirus pic.twitter.com/mO1gBIzVGz— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 7, 2020
March 8, 2020, 12 noon
The Georgia Department of Public Health issues press release that there are Additional presumed cases of #COVID19 in Georgia
With the addition of these four presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, there are now six presumptive positives pending confirmatory testing by CDC, and five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Georgia.
With confirmation, this brings the cases in Georgia to 11.
Be sure to call before going to a doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
March 8, 2020, 6:57 am
Italy quarantines 16 million people in attempts to squelch COVID-19 spread.
Italy has placed up to 16 million people under quarantine as it battles to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Anyone living in Lombardy and 14 other central and northern provinces will need special permission to travel. Milan and Venice are both affected.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also announced the closure of schools, gyms, museums, nightclubs and other venues across the whole country.
The measures, the most radical taken outside China, will last until 3 April.
More information will be released as we locate reliable and trustworthy sources.
March 7, 2020, 8 pm
The WHO marks 100,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide.
Marking this sombre moment, WHO reminded all countries and communities that the spread of this virus can be significantly slowed or even reversed through the implementation of robust containment and control activities.
Every effort to contain the virus and slow the spread saves lives. These efforts give health systems and all of society much needed time to prepare, and researchers more time to identify effective treatments and develop vaccines.
Allowing uncontrolled spread should not be a choice of any government, as it will harm not only the citizens of that country but affect other countries as well.
We must stop, contain, control, delay and reduce the impact of this virus at every opportunity. Every person has the capacity to contribute, to protect themselves, to protect others, whether in the home, the community, the healthcare system, the workplace or the transport system.
More information available online at WHO
March 7, 2020, 7:45 am
Two deaths have been reported in Florida, bringing the number of U.S. fatalities to 16; the total number of infections is now 338. We are waiting for the situation report from the WHO to drop at 8 am to provide additional updates.
March 6, 2020, 10:28 pm
21 people on the cruise ship docked off the coast of California are positive for COVID.
Forty-six people on the cruise ship, which had ended its 15-day voyage early after concerns of a possible COVID-19 outbreak from a previous trip, were swabbed for the virus. Of the 21 positive cases, 19 are crew members and two are passengers, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters today, March 6.
Officials plan to bring the ship to a “non-commercial port” to dock, presumably in Northern California, this weekend. Once berthed, the rest of the nearly 2,500 passengers and more than 1,000 crew members will be tested.
A total of 62 passengers who were aboard the cruise ship for a cruise to Mexico, remained on board for the 15-day roundtrip voyage to Hawaii. Those passengers and a few dozen crew members who came in close contact with them were instructed to self-isolate in their cabins Wednesday, March 4th. On March 5, all passengers on board were reportedly told via an announcement from the ship’s captain to stay in their cabins, with all meals set to be distributed by room service.
We expect the number of infected to rise once the ship docks and all passengers and crew are tested.
March 6, 2020, 3:25 pm
The Atlanta Journal Constitution announces that the 46-year-old female patient who was identified today resides in Floyd County, Georgia. She has been hospitalized and is currently in stable condition. Her illness does not appear to be related to international travel and the source of her exposure is unknown. She does not seem to have a direct connection to either patient in Fulton County.
Kurt Stuenkle, CEO of Floyd Medical Center, reports that the female arrived at the hospital on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. The medical center followed the protocols in place at the time and she did not meet the criteria for COVID testing; therefore, she was not tested and released.
In order to determine if the patient should be tested on Feb 29, the initial visit, the patient was asked about international travel. She did not disclose any travel that would meet the criteria for screening.
On Tuesday, March 3, 2020, the same female returned to the medical center with worsening symptoms. At this time, the doctors ordered a CT scan and there were abnormalities, which are considered markers of the coronavirus and not typical of other lung diseases.
Stuenkel praised the radiologist, saying: “Our doctors are current on the COVID outbreak and knew what they needed to look for”. The doctors reported their concerns saying, “This looks like what we have been reading about”.
Even though she did not meet the COVID screening criteria, in an abundance of caution, FMC admitted her to the medical center and contacted the Georgia Department of Public Health on the recommendation of the FMC radiologist who reviewed the CT scan.
The patient was placed in isolation and the FMC “adamantly urged” that the patient be tested.
Floyd Medical Center has notified 24 staff members who had contact with the patient and they are being quarantined for 14 days.
The Georgia Department of Public Health is also attempting to contact other individuals who may have come in contact with this patient since she began exhibiting symptoms.
March 6, 2020, 2:16 pm
Johns Hopkins updates the Coronavirus Global Cases map to include the new case from Floyd County. You can see the current map by visiting the post Mapping the COVID-19 outbreak
March 6, 2020, 10:37 am
Five new countries/territories/areas (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gibraltar, Hungary, Slovenia, and occupied Palestinian territory) have reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
WHO’s initiative called the WHO Network for Information in Epidemics (EPIWIN) leverages all communications platforms to amplify evidence-based information. EPI-WIN has identified trusted sources and engaged with these “trust chains”. More information can be found in this post about Infodemics.
March 6, 2020, 6:32 am
Woman in Floyd County with preliminary confirmation of coronavirus case, Georgia’s third case.
She first went to the hospital on Feb. 29, 2020, but was released when she didn’t meet the testing criteria. This is an evolving story and will continually be updated as more information is released. The Georgia Department of Public Health notified the Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Ga of the test results late Thursday evening March 5, 2020
March 5, 2020, 1:17 pm
The Washington Post reports that a cruise ship has been detained off the coast of California.
California under a state of emergency, countries in Asia and the Middle East further restricting travel and some 300 million children facing school closures around the world, the coronavirus outbreak is spurring an escalating economic cost, along with increasing disruptions to everyday life.
A cruise ship carrying some 2,500 passengers, en route from Hawaii to San Francisco, was held off the coast for coronavirus screening. Two U.S. coronavirus cases, including the first U.S. patient to die outside Washington state, have suspected links to the ship. At least 20 people had fallen ill and will be tested for the virus.
March 5, 2020, 12:53 pm
Georgia STEM has updated the COVID-19 Math page to reflect the new cases being reported by the WHO situation reports daily since March 1, 2020. To see the raw data and view more math, click on the link to the original post below.
March 5, 2020, 9:00 am
COVID meets 3 Criteria for a Pandemic
Pandemic Criteria Met:
- The disease has caused Illness and Death
- Sustained person-to-person contact is concerning
- The Disease has spread worldwide
The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia continues to provide an evolving Risk Assessment for the virus. The current information for Assessing and Managing Risk (COVID-19) from the CDC is posted below.
Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern. The risk from these outbreaks depends on the characteristics of the virus, including how well it spreads between people, the severity of resulting illness, and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccine or treatment medications). The fact that this disease has caused illness, including illness resulting in death, and sustained person-to-person spread is concerning. These factors meet two of the criteria of a pandemic. As community spread is detected in more and more countries, the world moves closer toward meeting the third criteria, the worldwide spread of the new virus.
Reported community spread of COVID-19 in parts of the United States raises the level of concern about the immediate threat for COVID-19 for those communities. The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is very high, to the United States and globally.
At this time, however, most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus; however, it is important to note that current global circumstances suggest it is likely that this virus will cause a pandemic. This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment will be updated as needed.
March 4, 2020, 8:56 pm
On Feb. 28th the New England Journal of Medicine posted that the R-0 of the virus was 2.2. This means that for each infected person, they infect an average of 2.2 other people. Until the average is below 1, any virus will continue to spread. The R-O of influenza is 1; whereas the R-0 of Smallpox was 3 and Polio was 4/6. The latest update with 2 different strains puts the R-0 of COVID between 2.2 and 6.48. We need more information to determine if the different strains have different R-0 and fatality rates. Check out this post for an explanation of R-0 and how they are calculated.
March 4, 2020, 8:00 pm
They have now identified 2 different strains of COVID-19. One is more aggressive than the other. We are following the WHO and CDC and will compile more information as it is released.
March 3, 2020, 8:00 pm
The Georgia Department of Public Health have confirmed a father from Fulton County and his teenage son have tested positive for COVID-19. The spouse and another child are being tested. Both the children are home-schooled. The father (56) experienced symptoms following a trip to Milan, Italy. He returned home on Feb. 22, 2020 and was confirmed for COVID on March 3, 2020.