In just 24 hours, Georgia has shattered a new daily record for COVID-19 cases with almost 20,000 new cases reported on Wednesday.

The Georgia Department of Health reported 19,894 new cases on Dec. 29, just one day after setting a record with nearly 14,000 cases on Tuesday.

The state reported an additional 45 deaths related to COVID-19 and noted that of those hospitalized this week, 73% are unvaccinated.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced Wednesday that the state will spend $100 million to hire 1,000 additional health-care workers. The National Guard is also being deployed to hospitals and testing sites overwhelmed by the surge in COVID cases from the Omicron variant.

DeKalb County also announced that it would distribute 5,000 at-home rapid testing kits to residents starting Dec. 30 at three locations:

  • South DeKalb Mall, 2801 Candler Rd., Decatur 30034
  • North DeKalb Mall, 2050 Lawrenceville Hwy., Decatur 30033
  • Plaza Fiesta, 4166 Buford Hwy., Atlanta 30345

“DeKalb County residents are waiting for hours in long lines to be tested for the COVID-19 virus,” said DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond. “This is unacceptable. Our goal is to reduce the frustration and anxiety growing out of the shortage of COVID-19 testing resources and options.”

Residents will be able to remain in their vehicles when receiving at-home test kits, and walk-ups are welcome. The number of test kits will be limited to 1 per person. Distribution will begin at 9:00 am and continue until supplies are exhausted. 

This at-home COVID-19 rapid test kit distribution is in partnership with the DeKalb Board of Commissioners and MedCura Health. 

For more information about the county’s response to COVID-19, visit www.dekalbcountyga.gov/coronavirus. 


Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.