Public gatherings and insufficient efforts at precautions like mask wearing and social distances on Memorial Day weekend are likely contributors to a more than 616 percent surge in Georgia cases of COVID-19 in June and July, according to an analysis of Georgia cases by a leading public health expert.

That surge was accompanied by an increase in hospitalizations that strained the healthcare infrastructure across the state.

“Labor Day, for many a festive, end-of-summer gathering, could be an even worse public-health threat,” says Dr. Amber Schmidtke, who has a degree in Medical Microbiology and Immunology and analyzes COVID-19 data trends in Georgia. “What we do or don’t do today to limit disease transmission will impact the number of cases two weeks from now — and deaths three to four weeks from now.”

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