Georgia's coronavirus cases hit daily record, officials say

State health officials are expressing concern heading into July 4th weekend  

Georgia has confirmed nearly 3,500 new cases of the novel coronavirus to its official figures, the largest single-day increase since the pandemic began, authorities said Thursday.

Georgia has seen a sharp increase in confirmed cases as well as people hospitalized in recent weeks.

The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed nearly 88,000 total cases of the virus. At least 2,849 people in Georgia have died.

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On Thursday, there were 1,649 people hospitalized with the virus in Georgia – up from 1,135 a week earlier.

"We are in exponential growth with rapidly rising infections," Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease expert at Emory University, tweeted Thursday.

"I am very concerned of our trajectory as we head into the 4th of July weekend," del Rio said as he urged people to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

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While on his “Wear a Mask” tour, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp appeared in a video Thursday with U.S. Surgeon General VADM Jerome M. Adams.

“If you want some college football this fall and other sports, wear your mask for the next few weeks. Let’s flatten the curve and drive the numbers down. God bless!” Kemp says in the video.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.