Georgia’s positivity rate continues to trend downward, sparking hope in the fight against COVID-19

ATLANTA — Two months ago, the positivity rate of those tested for COVID-19 in Georgia was about 16%. On Thursday, it’s only about one-third of that number.

The downward turn in positivity rates is something many in the medical community are happy to see.

Vaccine rates continue to rise in Georgia. But even though the rates have risen, there are still Georgians who are hesitant.

Dr. Felipe Lobelo, the physician director of Kaiser Permanente Georgia, said it’s encouraging that coronavirus case numbers are down in Georgia.

He is concerned about the variants, including the U.K. one, which has a high rate of transmission. He stresses vaccines make a difference.

The biggest concern right now is the U.K. variant, the B117, because that probably accounts for about 25% to 30% of new cases in the country.

TRENDING STORIES

“You look at the data from Israel and other countries, which is really where you start seeing a big decline in new cases even with the new variants, because we know these vaccines protect us from these new variants,” Lobelo said.

Lobelo believes other protection includes wearing masks, washing hands and practicing social distancing. He believes this is not the time to get complacent.

“I think it’s progress. I think we’re moving in the right direction,” Lobelo said. “We are probably like the last five minutes of this marathon, and it would be a shame to stop running and not complete it. Probably the next two months are going to be the most critical in terms of us being able to move on from this pandemic.”