ATLANTA — As people prepare for Thanksgiving and health experts are giving warnings about gathering for the holiday, COVID-19 testing is up across the state as people make a mad rush to find out whether they have the virus or not.
Experts say the uptick in testing should make detecting the virus a little easier. The latest White House report states Georgia is right at the beginning of a full resurgence of the coronavirus.
“We’re just going to make the best of it,” said Tuwanna Copeland as she picked up her Thanksgiving meal from a food giveaway in northwest Atlanta.
She was one of more than 500 people on Tuesday who drove up to get a free meal from Goodr at its promise center.
“It helps me stretch dollars that would usually go toward food to be able to put towards bills and make sure we’re staying afloat,” Copeland told Channel 2′s Matt Johnson.
The food was safely delivered inside cars, where it will hopefully be safely served on Thanksgiving.
“We’re going to Zoom whoever we can Zoom,” Copeland said.
Georgia is at the beginning of a COVID-19 resurgence, according to the latest White House coronavirus task force report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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According to the report, there was a 36% spike in cases last week in Georgia, but the state has the second-lowest infection rate in the country.
“We’re so close right now. We just have to hang in a little bit more,” said Dr. Michael Crupain, chief medical officer for Sharecare.
He told Johnson that families who are celebrating with people who don’t live with them should avoid eating together if they want to limit the spread.
“Spend that time safely together, but skip the part where you can’t avoid taking off your mask,” Crupain said.
Medical professionals said they worry about what December will bring if too many people ignore COVID-19 protocols.
“That’s one of my biggest fears that Thanksgiving, this holiday that we all love to get together on, (and) that becomes a super-spreader event,” Crupain said.
Back at the promise center, Jasmine Crowe told Johnson that Goodr and Quality Control Music will feed 3,500 families this week.
“For us, it’s, like, not only let’s support people during the pandemic but also let’s give them dignity and choice and give them options,” Crowe said.
She’s used to feeding her whole family too. But this year, Crowe said she’s expecting a child, so she’s taking every precaution.
“Last year, I had a party. I fed 30 people. This year, I’m down to two, so it’s going to be a way different Thanksgiving,” Crowe said.
Holiday travel in Atlanta is at pre-pandemic levels right now, and some going out of state said they’re doing it safely.
“I took a COVID-19 test before I travel, so that’s one precaution I’m taking, and it’s going to be a small family gathering,” one traveler said.
They hope that what they’re doing to stay safe will be what everyone else does too.
“Sanitizing, mask it up, and laugh it up,” the traveler said.