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Research Guide for Government Information resources

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) - Historical information, 2020-2021

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)  --

   CDC COVID Guidelines - "How Long Are You Contagious With COVID and How Soon Could Symptoms Start? Here's What to Know" - from NBC channel 5 in Chicago.

   Note: All who are 5 years of age or older are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.   On 3/8/21, educators (k-12, preschool, daycare employees) eligible; on 3/15/21, all in GA who were 55 and older eligible;  3/25/21, all in GA who were over the age of 16 were eligible (Gov. Kemp press conference, 3/23). May 2021, Pfizer vaccine became available for all 12 and over.

8/11/22 - CDC has new guidelines - no need to quarantine if exposed; no need for social distancing

Isolation time if one tests positive - shortened by CDC, 12/27/21. Also shortened: quarantine time if one is exposed to COVID-19.

   CDC - COVID Data Tracker -

           11/10/20 - Community Use of Cloth Masks...    key findings: Multiple layers of cloth with higher thread counts have demonstrated superior performance compared to single layers of cloth with lower thread counts, in some cases filtering nearly 50% of fine particles less than 1 micron. Explained in lay terms on, "CDC now says masks protect both the wearers and those around them from Covid-19".

            9/18/20 - udpated "clarifications" re asymptomatic testing if have been in close contact with an infected person

    AJC page - focus is Atlanta and statewide

    World Health Organization (WHO) page

    Preventing the spread of the coronavirus - from Harvard Medical School. Includes vaccine info. Updated frequently.

     Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE  -- visual dashboard of statistics worldwide

     COVID-19  Projections - for the U.S. - updated daily by the Univ. of Washington's Health Metrics and Evaluation

     Florida COVID-19 Response - select "see dashboard"  - updated daily

    U.S. State Dept. page - notes info. re students on foreign study programs

   COVID-19 Outbreak Detection Tool developed by researchers at Georgia Tech, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/Harvard Medical School, and Boston Medical Center - predicts how fast an outbreak is spreading within a given county. Updated 2-3 times per week.

   White House Taskforce Report - Georgia - 9 pages, dated 8/16/20; reported in the AJC 8/19/20 , page 1. The reports are issued weekly, but are not distributed directly to the public. The AJC and other local news outlets typically summarize it for GA. The PBS affiliate, WABE, often has the pdf on its website.

   MIT Medical news on COVID-19 - has FAQ and updates. Plus, a mathematical explanation (with link to video of MIT Professor also explaining) antibody test’s sensitivity and specificity, combined with low population prevalence...

   Harvard Medical School on "if you've been exposed to the coronavirus" - notes the saliva test; the nasal swab test -- and gives guidance on "What are the chances that a coronavirus test will tell me I am not infected when I actually am?

  Yale Univ. - rapid COVID-19 saliva test - given FDA Emergency Use Authorization for "SalivaDirect" - Aug. 15, 2020 - per Yale news release - we expect that labs will only charge about $10 per sample...One of the team’s goals was to eliminate the expensive saliva collection tubes that other companies use to preserve the virus for detection.
   Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 Screening Strategies to Permit the Safe Reopening of College Campuses in the United States - research in JAMA Network Open, July 31, 2020. Cited by experts on's Q&A re "is it safe to go to college?"
   Emergency Use Authorizations for Medical Devices -- from US Food & Drug Administration - Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

   EPA list of about 200 disenfectants for use (option to export to pdf; default is displaying 25 products per page)

   State-by-state Status Updates on COVID-19 Restrictions - from Northstar Meeting Group

Universities and colleges

   New York Times has graphic, frequently updated, with accompanying detailed university-by-university statistics. GT users - all now have access to NYT Digital - create account.

   Chronicle of Higher Education - tracks vaccine requirements - updated daily, summer 2021

          The Chronicle also covers: Here's our list of colleges' reopening models - updated frequently. Has interactive map. Source is the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College.

   A New Front in America's Pandemic: College Towns -- New York Times, 9/6//20; updated online 9/10

   How Colleges Became the new COVID Hotspots - New York Times, 9/12 /20 [in databases with title: U.S. Campuses See Explosion of Virus Cases]

    Georgia Department of Public Health COVID-19 Daily Status Report - has totals by county. Also, has some demographic info. See its Dashboard page for extensive graphs, downloading charts, and enhanced capabilities for data visualization.

   COVID Tracking Project - from The Atlantic magazine.


   CDC - Businesses and Workplaces - guidance released 5/14 on safely reopening. Includes 1-page decision tool for workplaces; and 1-page decision tool for restaurants and bars.

   Coronavirus travel restrictions: where visitors must still quarantine - list of states, with details. From USAToday, revised often.

   Where all 50 states stand on reopening - from; revised often.

Face masks / face coverings / face shields

        Note: Cities and counties and universities might change policies depending on new CDC guidelines or uptick in cases. The following are major announcements.

March 21, 2022 - Mask Guidance

Feb. 25, 2022 - Requirement for Face Masks on Public Transportation

August 12, 2021 - CDC page updated re wearing masks indoors - if: Not fully vaccinated ; or -- Fully vaccinated and in an area with substantial or high transmission ; or -- Fully vaccinated and with weakened immune systems

April 27, 2021 - CDC noted that fully vaccinated people do NOT have to wear a face mask outdoors if they are able to socially distance.  Note: One is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after dose #2 of Pfizer or Moderna; or 2 weeks after the J&J vaccine.

The CDC in Feb. 2021 released research on MMRW on wearing TWO face masks (surgical one, "knotting the ear loops" so as to make it a tighter fit, and cloth mask of double layers over the first mask).
Hybrid mask / face shield -- DIY, from Georgia Tech students - Project FREE [Face Masks Reducing Exposure for Everyone]  Also, Georgia Tech has a website on face masks, which includes how to wash these DIY face masks.
Face shield - open source, from Univ. of Wisconsin - focus is on making shields to donate. Also lists suppliers of "PET" sheets (clear polyester film) ; foam ; elastic bands  [note: there are tradenames for some popular brands of polyester film]
Per Fox5 Atlanta segment on 6/30/20, Schutt is making a "Splash Shield" to sell - for football helmets. A GT helmet was featured.
(historical info.) Places in metro Atlanta - face covering requirements (i.e., from executive orders of mayors ; ordinances of county commisioners)
Atlanta -  Executive Order 7/28/21 - face masks required indoors in public places.
        Executive Order 7/8/2020 ; Executive Order 2021-61 (issued 5/29/21) - still required in city buildings ;  city buildings closed to the general public
Brookhaven - at May 4, 2021 city council meeting, extended until June 18, 2021 for indoors
Dekalb County - for public spaces. Update: mid-May 2021, public library branches re-opened for 1-hour visits (computer use available); temperature check and face covering required.
Sandy Springs - as of May 2021, following CDC guidelines for employees
University System of Georgia (USG) campuses - Updated, May 2021 - Fully vaccinated individuals can resume campus classes and other activities without wearing a mask. [previous guidance - as of 7/15/20, required]
Articles about Georgia Tech and face coverings
AJC article 6/27/20 re use of face masks on university campuses in GA

Phone hotlines

    State of Georgia:  844-442-2681 -- call before seeing your Doctor

    Fulton County - 404-613-8150 -- to  get test results; speak to a nurse

   Dekalb County - 404-294-3700, Select Option 1  [available Mon.-Fri., 8:30am - 5:00pm]

    All of GA, Augusta Univ.'s COVID-19 Virtual Screening (website has option to download app) -  available 24/7 - 706-721-1852


Testing locations -

"Surveillance testing" -   For GT students, faculty, and staff - FREE. Though no appointment needed, go to : to complete a short survey and get the barcode (do this for each time you're tested - if you take the survey on a desktop computer, take a photo with your phone of the barcode)

Sites below typically charge -

    Many urgent care centers affiliated with Piedmont Hospital and with Emory (Peachtree Immediate Care).

     CVS stores with testing - register in advance to schedule an appointment. Insurance card required. More info.


Executive Orders - Georgia Governor -- 2022 2021 ; 2020

Renewal of State of Emergency - 1/18/2022 ; 12/17/2021 ; 11/19/2021 ; 10/21/2021 ; 9/20/2021 ; 8/19/2021 ; 7/22/2021 ; 6/22/2021 ;

5/28/2021 - Providing additional guidance for empowering a healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19 (22 pages) - many restrictions lifted (summary from AJC blog)   -  note: on 6/22, another Executive Order extending it to July 1st]

5/28/2021 - Renewing the Public Health State of Emergency - until June 29, 2021

4/30/21 - Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19 - many restrictions lifted (summary from WSB-tv)

4/23/21 - Renewing the Public Health State of Emergency - until 5/30/21

3/31/21 -  3 executive orders of note: - summary from AJC - titles of the 3:  Renewing the Public Health State of Emergency last renewed on February 26, 2021, in response to COVID-;   Executive Order and regarding the use of emergency office closure leave for receiving COVID-19 vaccinations (extending 3/12 order until 4/7) ;  Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19 - until 4/30                       

3/12/21 -  Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19 ; Empowering a health Georgia - focus is many new changes for restaurants and bars; also some changes re live performances and other events - until 3/31

2/26/21 -  Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19 ; renewal of Public Health State of Emergency  - until April 6th

1/29/21 --  Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19 ; renewal of Public Health State of Emergency - until March 7th.

12/14/20 - Renewing the Public Health State of Emergency - until January 11th, 2021.

12/8/20 - Providing additional guidance for empowering a healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19. 53 pages.

11/13/20 - 2 Executive Orders.  Providing additional guidance for empowering a healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19. Renewal of Public Health State of Emergency - until December 14th.

10/30/20 - Renewal of Public Health State of Emergency - until December 9th.

9/30/20 - Renewal of Public Health State of Emergency - until October 30th.

9/30 ; 10/15 ; 10/30 -- Executive Orders re Providing additional guidance for empowering a healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19.

8/31/20 - Renewal of Public Health State of Emergency -- until October 10th.

6/29/20 - 2 Executive Orders. One is 3 pages, and renews the Public Health State of Emergency until August 11th (was set to expire July 12th). The second order:  Providing additional guidance for empowering a healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19 - also 40 pages.

6/11/20 - Providing additional guidance and empowering a healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19.  40 pages.  It encourages the use of face coverings. Effective June 16-June 30 in general; some parts effective 6/11 (e.g., age restriction on sheltering in place).

  4/30/20 - Renewing the public health State of Emergency issued on March 14 and renewed April 8 to assist with the state's response to COVID-19  -- details re extending "shelter-in-place" are in a News Release for 4/30 from the Governor.

   4/23/20 - Providing guidance for reviving a healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19 - details what one can do in shelter-in-place, and includes requirements for restaurants, movie theatres, and gyms/fitness centers

  4/20/20 - Providing flexibility for healthcare practices, moving certain businesses to minimum operations

    4/8/20 -  Renewing the Public Health State of Emergency to assist with the state’s response to COVID-19 - 2 pages -- State of Emergency extended to May 13th.

   4/2/20 - Issuing a statewide shelter in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 - 9 pages (note: 22-page "more guidance" document is no longer available on Governor's website)

   3/14/20 - Public Health State of Emergency until April 13th.

Georgia business and economic issues-

Georgia Dept. of Economic Development page detailing what businesses can open and requirements; what businesses open in next categories and phases.

Governor Kemp's memo re state budget cuts, May 1, 2020 (as reported in Online Athens)

Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers - 28 Safety Guidelines for reopening barber and cosmetology salons


Vaccine -   as of 3/25/21, ALL in Georgia who are over the age of 16 eligible (Gov. Kemp press conference, 3/26)

   Requirements at universities - Chronicle of Higher Education tracks it; updated daily -

    Statistics --

    GA  - link from GA Dept. of Public Health (scroll down to "interactive dashboard") - or, directly at: GA DPH Vaccine Distribution Dashboard - map by county or Census tract.

     CDC --   COVID data tracker  - county view  - map-based stats; select the county. Vaccinations display first, yet note includes community transmission stats too. Same site links to:   COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States  - both sites updated daily.

     vaccinations per state (and % distributed used) - per

    Vaccine tracker - dashboard from IPC Global, linked from WSB-TV. 

Booster shots:  check the CDC page for updates as to who is eligible and for which vaccine.

   April 1, 2022 - COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters - notes that those age 50 and over can get a second booster

    As of Nov. 19, 2021:   "everyone ages 18 and over can get a booster shot" per the CDC -  - as to when to get it - if you had the Pfizer-BioNTech or moderna vaccine -- "At least 6 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series" ; if you had the Johnson & Johnson - "At least 2 months after your shot."

      As of October 22, 2021:  Pfizer-BioNTech and moderna -- for those age 65 and over, or for adults ages 18 and over in high-risk occupations, or have underlying medical conditions.  Johnson & Johnson: "booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago."

    Vaccination locations (GA)

   GA - appointments (GA Dept. of Public Health website link)

    Find COVID-19 Vaccines   [official US Government website; was Vaccine Finder website]


   GA - list of participating vaccine sites, from the Dept. of Public Health.     

       Federal (FEMA) mass vaccination site was at Mercedes Benz stadium - opened end of March 2021 - 6,000 doses/day. Closed early June 2021.

     Note: GT's Stamps Health Center ordered doses for approx. 1,000 faculty and staff in Phase 1A+; state listing in early March 2021 noted about 5,000 doses allocated.  As of 3/15/21, with many more of the GT community eligible, Stamps Health Center had more doses.

              For GT updates of its supply, see:  

            GA's weekly allocation: as of 2/27/21, 215,000 per week per; as of 2/22/21  198,000 doses per week [per Fox 5] ;  145,900 per week - press release, Jan. 26, 2021 (previously, was 120,000/week)

            Links to county dept. vaccine info. - CobbDekalb ; Forsyth ; FultonGwinnett

    2/2/21 - Biden administration announces direct vaccine shipments to pharmacies - - to be in 6,500 pharmacies (national chains)

    U.S. Covid Vaccine Supply: How to Make Sense of Those Confusing Numbers - New York Times online, 1/21/21 - notes the production capabilities of moderna & Pfizer (collectively, between 12-18 million doses per week).

   Well-being Georgia - from Augusta Univ. -

   FDA page for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - includes meeting dates, links to press releases.


   8/23/2021 - FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine - press release re the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech -- to now be marketed as: Comirnaty.

   2/27/2021 - FDA issues Emergency Use Authorization to Janssen (unit of Johnson & Johnson)

   2/23/2021 - Executives at the 3 companies - prepared testimony re how many doses they'll manufacture, where, and when - Hearing to the US House, Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

   First dose efficacy of moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech -- BBC, updated 1/18/21 - background and explanation too

    Johnson & Johnson [J&J] vaccine, from its Janssen subsidiary - article in Science online, posted 1/29/21 - to ask FDA for EUA 2/4 or 2/5

  12/18/20 - FDA issues Emergency Use Authorization to moderna -    FDA Fact sheet for recipients and caregivers - of moderna's vaccine

  12/11/20 -- FDA issues Emergency Use Authorization to Pfizer -   FDA Fact sheet for recipients and caregivers - of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

   GA Dept. of Public Health  vaccine hotline:  888-357-0169 - COVID-19 vaccine page - includes dashboard of #s allocated, shipped

    If you have lost your vaccine card, request another from the GA Dept. of Public Health - Request for State of Georgia Official Immunization Record

   12/18-12/19 2020 Wall Street Journal - "Moderna Shot to Bolster Vaccine Efforts" [online version has slightly different title] -- notes how long each of the 2 vaccines can be kept thawed, shipping container sizes, and purchases - US government -- 200 million doses of Moderna's by June; 100 million doses of Pfizer's.

  Research on messenger RNA; history of the approach - Sprint to vaccine paves way for future advances - Washington Post, 12/7/20[link is to free web version of 12/6, slightly different title]

   11/30/20 - from Nature - How COVID vaccines are being divvied up around the world - ..."the makers of the three vaccines that seem closest to widespread distribution — AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna — estimate a total production capacity of 5.3 billion doses for 2021, which could cover between 2.6 billion and 3.1 billion people, depending on whether AstraZeneca’s vaccine is administered in two doses or one and a half"

  The Lancet article, 12/8/20, "Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine efficacy"

Georgia - COVID-19 Vaccination Plan - as of 3/4/21;  previous draft plans on 1/1/21; 12/7/20, and on 11/6/20.  The Executive Summary of 10/15 draft is on the CDC website.

Chart of highlights of all state's plans - from KFF

   Interview with Moderna's associate director of production - Dec. 2020 - notes newly-built manufacturing facility in Norwood, Mass., and that co is ready to ship 20 million doses, and also can produce 100-125 million doses in the 1st quarter of 2021.

   Emory Univ. is partnering with Kaiser Permanente Washington and National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (part of NIH) - Atlanta magazine feature for June 2020 issue.  This is also in partnership with moderna Therapeutics. Update on 5/18 on . Background in article, online 7/14/20, in New England Journal of Medicine, "An mRNA Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 — Preliminary Report".

   Oxford Univ.'s Jenner Institute is working on a vaccine.  In-depth article in New York Times, April 27.  Update on 5/17 from USA Today -

 Another co. working on vaccine: Inovio ; and, per NYT article noted above, CanSino in China.

       Per the NYT article, moderna and Inovio's approach - " technologies involving modified or otherwise manipulated genetic material"      

   World Health Organization maintains a list of major vaccine candidates.

   Wall Street Journal frequently updates an article: "Covid-19 Vaccines: What’s Coming and When?" - 11/9 is latest. Note:  print ed. of 91/20 - has graphic on p. A6 . For full-text of earlier articles, use U.S. Newsstream. [subscription database]

   11/16/20 - moderna announced its vaccine is 94.5% effective - "...based on 95 cases, of which 90 cases of COVID-19 were observed in the placebo group...The 95 COVID-19 cases included 15 older adults (ages 65+) and 20 participants identifying as being from diverse communities"

   11/9/20 - Pfizer announced its vaccine is more than 90% effectivePer on 11/9, in several weeks co. will ask for FDA emergency use authorization  (volunteers need to be monitored for 2 months after getting 2nd dose.).

  U.S. Health and Human Services project - Operation Warp Speed -  major grants, including:

      $1.6B -  to Novavax, a biotech co. based in Gaithersburg, MD - July 2020