"While we all agree that wearing a mask is effective, I'm confident that Georgians don't need a mandate to do the right thing," he said during the press conference.
Statewide COVID-19 confirmed case counts now total 135,183 as of 3 p.m. July 17, an increase of 3,908 cases since the July 16 total of 131,275 cases, according to the COVID-19 daily status report from the Georgia Department of Public Health. Case counts have been rising each day by the thousands since mid-June, per public health data.
The state has also seen 3,132 deaths, up by 28 deaths from July 16, and 2,781 intensive care unit admissions attributed to COVID-19.
Fulton County has seen 12,584 COVID-19 cases as of 3 p.m. July 17, per public health data, for a case rate of 1,145 cases per 100,000 residents. This is an increase of 400 total cases since July 16's total of 12,584 cases.
Georgia has also seen an increase of 301 cumulative hospitalizations due to COVID-19 since July 16, totaling 14,647 cumulative hospitalizations as of 3 p.m. July 17. Out of the 14,647 statewide hospitalizations, 1,385 of them are tied to Fulton County—or about 9.46%.
The number of people currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 now totals 2,902 as of 3 p.m. July 17, according to data from the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. This is an increase of 61 people since the July 16 total.
The percentage of positive viral tests is rising, according to the public health department's data. The percentage has increased by 0.1% each day since July 13, rising from 9.9% on July 13 to 10.3% as of 3 p.m. July 17. A total of about 1.19 million viral tests have been conducted so far, with 123,040 returning with a positive result.