As cases of the COVID-19 virus reach unprecedented levels, City of South Fulton officials approved a plan today that reaffirms the city’s mask ordinance and offers incentives for new vaccinations.

The decision came at a special emergency meeting, during which Fulton County Public Health District Director Dr. Lynn Paxton implored people to get vaccinated and wear masks to slow the virus’ spread. She also urged those who are vaccinated to get booster shots because they greatly decrease the rate of infection.

“When you get a booster shot, not only does it increase your antibody levels against the original viruses, it also increases the antibodies against the Omicron variant by 25 times,” Paxton said, later ending the presentation with a clear message. “Get vaccinated. Wear your mask indoors.”

In the past week, Fulton County has seen the seven-day average of COVID cases skyrocket from 407 a day to 1,678. That represents a 75-percent spike for the week and a 680-percent increase over levels two weeks ago, according to Doug Shuster, planning section chief for Fulton County’s emergency management services.

Projections show that daily average surpassing 3,000 by February.Between Dec. 28 and 29, the number of new cases climbed by nearly 2,500 in Fulton County and about 13,750 statewide.

As a precaution, city officials have closed non-essential public buildings. Employees have been asked to telework until Jan. 10, with conditions continually assessed.

“I will continue our teleworking policy until Jan. 10, meaning that our city facilities will be closed to the public and staff members who are able will be teleworking from home,” said City Manager Tammi Saddler Jones. “I would encourage all individuals, public as well as employees to continue to wear masks.”

In October, the city council approved a vaccination incentive plan using funds from the
American Rescue Plan. Distributed in the form of gift cards, the incentives will be offered only to South Fulton residents receiving first and second shots of the vaccine.

To receive answers to COVID-19 related questions or to schedule a testing appointment, call
the Fulton County COVID-19 hotline at (404) 613-8150.