555 coronavirus cases confirmed in Georgia; 20 deaths

UPDATE [7 p.m.]: The number of deaths caused by coronavirus in Georgia increased to 20 Saturday evening, with health officials reporting a total of at least 555 cases across the state.

The latest figures, released at 7 p.m., represent an increase of 48 cases and six deaths since the Georgia Department of Public Health's noon report.

Additionally, cases have now been confirmed in 56 Georgia counties, up from 55 seven hours earlier.

The number of confirmed cases in Fulton County rose to 99, up from 92 at midday. Bartow County has the second most cases in the state with 56, followed by Cobb with 50 and Dougherty County with 47.

» RELATED: Albany becomes unlikely Coronavirus hot spot in Georgia

There are 41 cases in DeKalb County, 23 in Gwinnett and 17 in Cherokee, according to the latest data.

Lumpkin County reported its first confirmed case Saturday evening while the number of cases in Carroll County doubled from seven to 14.

A total of 3,616 people have been tested for COVID-19 in the state, meaning about  15.3% of those tests came back positive for the highly contagious virus.

The confirmed cases are divided just about evenly among men and women. The largest portion of cases, about 41%, is made up of adults younger than 60.

Seniors account for 32% of all cases in Georgia, and just 1% are children. The ages of the remaining 26% are unknown.

ORIGINAL STORY: The number of coronavirus cases in Georgia increased again Saturday, with state health officials confirming a total of 507 cases and 14 deaths.

The latest data from the Georgia Department of Public Health represents an increase of 22 cases since Friday evening, though nobody else has died.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia

So far, Georgia has conducted 3,064 tests for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. About 16.5% of those tests have come back positive.

Cases have now been reported in 55 Georgia counties, up from 52 on Friday evening, according to the latest figures. Baldwin and Pickens counties now have two cases each, while Lincoln County has one.

» RELATED: As deaths soar, Georgia enters dangerous phase of outbreak

Fulton County has the most with at least 92 cases, followed by 56 in Bartow, 49 in Cobb and 46 in Dougherty.

Fulton saw the largest increase of any Georgia county, with four new confirmed cases since Friday evening.

On Saturday, the Atlanta Police Department announced its first officer tested positive for the disease. The officer, who worked at the department’s headquarters, has not been to work since March 11, an agency spokesman said.

» MORE: First Atlanta police officer tests positive for coronavirus

With Georgia taking steps to ration its limited supply of test kits and hospital systems urging mild cases not to seek testing, experts say the number of cases is likely far higher.

For most, COVID-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms. Older adults and those with existing health problems are at risk of more severe illnesses, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover in a matter of weeks.

Those who can recover at home by managing symptoms in isolation are advised to do so.

Many fear the disease could spread quickly among the state’s jail and prison inmates, and on Friday, officials confirmed three inmates at Lee State Prison in southwest Georgia have tested postive for the virus.

» ALSO:  3 Georgia prison inmates test positive for COVID-19, others monitored

Friday was also the first day the DPH started releasing new case numbers twice a day instead of just once in the morning. The department plans to continue releasing new data at noon and 7 p.m. for the foreseeable future.

— Please return to AJC.com for updates.