MACON, Ga. — As Georgia approaches 66,000 COVID-19 cases health officials say you shouldn't pump the brakes on personal protection.
This weekend, Georgia reported an increase of roughly 1,800 cases in a day -- the largest increase on record since April 17th.
The state also posted 8,000 new cases between June 14th and Monday, the most COVID cases ever in a week.
Another number that's up? Hospitalizations.
On the chart below, you can see they've been trending downward since May, but rose slightly over the last week which is depicted in orange.
Michael Hokanson with the North Central Health District says as of Sunday, 509 COVID patients have been hospitalized in their 13 county district which includes Bibb, Houston, Peach, Monroe, and 9 others.
"If people are not taking certain measures into account with the reopening of the state, people might think, 'Well, oh, now I'm safe. I don't need to wear my mask,' or, 'I don't need to stand 6 feet apart. I can go to all these parties and I can sit close to other people.' That's not the case," says Hokanson. "The only way we can get those numbers down is for everybody working together."
Health officials say you should still wear a mask in public, try to social distance, and wash your hands to help prevent the spread.
"We know it's not fun. We know it's not everyone's favorite thing," says Hokanson. "But these are sacrifices that we sometimes have to make to prevent the spread of an illness that can ravage a community."
Hokanson says earlier this month, the North Central Health District was averaging about 23 new cases per day. Last week, that number jumped to around 30 new cases.
STAY UPDATED | Click here to subscribe to our Midday Minute newsletter and receive the latest headlines and information in your inbox every day.
Have a news tip? Email email@example.com, or visit our Facebook page.