Gov. Brian Kemp

Gov. Brian Kemp visits Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta to unveil a new "mega-testing" site on Aug. 11. 

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday again extended the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Safety restrictions on gatherings and businesses have been extended through Oct. 31 as the state’s COVID-19 case numbers have leveled but remain high. Kemp also extended the state’s public health emergency through Nov. 9, which gives him increased powers to manage agency response to the virus.

The latest White House Coronavirus Task Force report, obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, notes that Georgia is the state with the 33rd highest new case rate in the country — a significant change from being dubbed number one for new cases in August.

“Georgia has seen a stability in new cases and stability in test positivity over the last week,” the report dated Oct. 11 said.

The report notes that while Georgia has made progress, state officials need to “ensure gains are sustained.” It recommends the continued use of masks, social distancing and avoiding “crowds in public and social gatherings in private.”

Like state officials, the report stresses the importance of Georgians getting vaccinated for the flu. Kemp and Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey urged the public this month to get the annual influenza vaccination to avoid a possible “twindemic” of both coronavirus and influenza.

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