Exclusive | One on one with state health department’s Dr. Kathleen Toomey


ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Georgia faced a litmus test on how it’s handled the spread of the coronavirus from closing late, to reopening early, to no statewide mask mandate.

Atlanta Bureau Chief, Archith Seshadri, talks exclusively with the Georgia department of health’s public commissioner — Dr. Kathleen Toomey — on where we’re headed in the months ahead.

“Wear a mask, please wear a mask.”

Georgia’s public health commissioner — Dr. Kathleen Toomey — says she’s concerned about COVID fatigue.

“I am concerned with the parties on campus and off campus and off campus that lead to community spread.”

In the past two weeks, the state’s rate of positive tests have dropped from 10 to 8-percent.

Dr. Kathleen Toomey says,”Our cases are going down, deaths are plateauing but not going down because we had a spike a few weeks ago but we have to be vigilant.”

But she says despite the curve flattening, we’re not out of the mix just yet.

“I do remember that we had many graduation parties that made the national news.”

Dr. Toomey warns against large gatherings which have become super-spreader events.

“I wouldn’t go to a wedding with 200 people with no social distancing and everyone mulling around. To me a tragedy is a wedding with such a wonderful celebration of life and then grandma gets sick with COVID.”

Georgia ranks 5th in terms of highest number of infections in the country — with nearly 300-thousand people testing positive.

“The more we can have communities understand the risks and take preventative measures, the faster you will see the decline in cases.”

Georgia’s state health department says more than 6300 people have died because of OVID-19 complications — which is about 58 people for every 100-thousand.


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