The City of Villa Rica has renewed its face-covering order as Carroll County continues on the high transmission list for COVID-19.

The order, which applies to city employees and residents entering Villa Rica government buildings, was renewed on Monday, having been first implemented in July.

“The CDC and overwhelming medical community continue to insist that wearing face coverings is the best preventative measure that can be taken, and they urge that face coverings policies remain in place,” said Mayor Gil McDougal.

The order will continue through Feb. 28, 2021. During a city council work session on Thursday, McDougal said he recognized the “differing opinions” on the subject of masks, but he is doing everything he can to keep city employees safe.

“The conditions that warranted the original and subsequent orders have not been abated,” said McDougal.

Since the pandemic began, there have been a total of 4,245 cases of COVID-19 in Carroll County as of Dec. 4. Of these cases, there have been 84 confirmed deaths and 13 probable deaths, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Georgia DPH also provides weekly updates on COVID-19. In the update for the weeks of Nov. 14 to Nov. 27, Carroll County was back on the list of counties with high transmission indicators. This is not the first time the county has been placed back on the list after being previously removed.

To be listed, a county must have had over 100 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents within the last 14 days, and have had over 10% of positive PCR tests for COVID-19. A PCR test determines the presence of a virus in a person’s system.

For the week ending Nov. 27 , Carroll County decreased by over 5% for positive COVID-19 cases, when compared to the week ending Nov. 20.

When comparing those same time periods, emergency room visits with COVID-19 symptoms had less than a 5% change. However, visits increased by at least 5% for visits from individuals with influenza-like symptoms.

In Carroll County, DPH reported 351 new positive cases as of Dec. 4. The positive rate for tests over the last two weeks was at 15.6%.

Tanner Health System also tracks COVID-19 within its health system and provides weekly updates. The numbers reported by Tanner reflect cases that have been tested or treated within the health system, regardless of the county of patient origin. It does not include any tests performed by the local health department, government agencies, or non-Tanner affiliated clinics.

For the weekly updates with data as recent as Dec. 3, there was a 15.14% positive rate for positive COVID-19 tests, with 6,805 positive test results.

The health system also reported that 36 patients of 181 total licensed beds, or 19.9% of all beds at Tanner Medical Center Carrollton, had patients hospitalized for COVID-19.

At Tanner Medical Center Villa Rica, there were 16 patients of 145 total licensed beds, or 11%.

Higgins General Hospital in Bremen has four of its 25 licensed beds, or 16%, and Tanner Medical Center in East Alabama in Wedowee had zero patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

Carroll County School System, Carrollton City Schools, the University of West Georgia, and West Georgia Technical College all give weekly updates on the virus.

Carroll County School System did not issue a report for the week of Nov. 23-27, due to Thanksgiving Break.

At Carrollton City Schools as of Dec. 4 there were 10 students with a positive test out of the 5,422 students enrolled and the number of students quarantined for possible exposure, either at school or outside of school, was 91.

Of the 576 staff members, there were five employees who had a positive test and the number of staff quarantined for possible exposure, either at school or outside of school, were eight.

At WGTC, as of Dec. 2, eight of the 6,443 students enrolled had a current, positive test and three of the 615 employees had a current, positive test.

At the University of West Georgia, as of Dec. 2, seven students and one employee have reported testing positive for COVID-19 during the week Nov. 25 through Dec. 1.