Georgia’s coronavirus death toll reaches 775; state tops 19K cases

Georgia recorded 42 additional coronavirus-related deaths since noon, bringing the state’s toll to 775, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

UPDATE [7 p.m.]: Georgia recorded 42 additional coronavirus-related deaths since noon, bringing the state's toll to 775, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

MORE: Georgia to allow some shuttered businesses to reopen amid pandemic

The announcement comes hours after Gov. Brian Kemp announced his plans to reopen some businesses over the next 10 days, with the state’s shelter-in-place policy set to expire at the end of April.

The state’s 86 COVID-19 deaths since Sunday night are the most the DPH has recorded within a 24-hour period.

The DPH also announced 452 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, inching the state’s total closer to 20,000 cases. As of Monday evening, the state has had 19,399 confirmed cases of the virus.

Of those, 775 patients have been hospitalized at some point, which is about 19.1% of all cases.

Of the 106 counties to report at least one death from COVID-19, Dougherty remains the hardest hit with 98 deaths, followed by Fulton with 80 and Cobb with 56. Fayette and Henry counties recorded the most deaths since noon with three each.

This is what the curve of coronavirus-related deaths looked like at 7 p.m. Monday, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health's data.

Credit: Georgia Department of Public Health

Credit: Georgia Department of Public Health

More than 84,300 tests have been conducted in Georgia, and about 23% of those have returned positive results.

At least 65% of those who died had a preexisting condition, but the DPH did not know that information for about 31% of the victims. Only 23 were confirmed to not have another condition that could have contributed to their death aside from COVID-19.

The DPH also releases compiled data of the race and ethnicity of patients, but nearly half of patients had their race listed as unknown.

Of the remaining percentage, about 27% were black, 21% were white and 1% were Asian, according to the latest data. About 5% of patients were listed as having Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.

The DPH recently expanded the race and ethnicity data to include those who died from the virus. The information for all but 46 victims is known.

About 53% of those who died were black and 38% were white, according to the latest data. Those with Hispanic ethnicity made up about 3% of the death toll, while Asians comprised about 1%.

Only two counties, Glascock and Taliaferro, have not recorded their first case, according to the DPH. The remaining 157 counties in Georgia have at least one, with Fulton topping the list with 2,198 confirmed cases. Hall saw the most new cases since noon with 53 cases, followed by Fulton and Butts with 24 each.

Since Sunday evening, Georgia recorded 910 new cases.

This is what the curve of confirmed coronavirus cases looked like at 7 p.m. Monday, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health's data.

Credit: Georgia Department of Public Health

Credit: Georgia Department of Public Health

As of 7 p.m. Monday, there were 1,521 in DeKalb, 1,196 in Cobb, 1,181 in Gwinnett, 702 in Hall, 540 in Clayton, 382 in Henry, 317 in Cherokee, 255 in Bartow, 243 in Douglas, 211 in Forsyth, 143 in Fayette, 141 in Paulding, 140 in Rockdale and 139 in Newton.

Patients between the ages of 18 and 59 make up the majority of cases at 62%, while those 60 and older make up 34% of cases. The DPH does not release compiled data on how many patients have recovered.

For the full update, click here.

ORIGINAL STORY [noon]: Known coronavirus infections in Georgia are nearing 20,000 as the state moves closer to a scheduled end to a shelter-in-place mandate.

The Georgia Department of Public Health is reporting 18,947 confirmed cases and 733 virus-related deaths Monday, according to the latest data released at noon. Those figures continue to increase daily, but adjusted projections by a widely cited computer model indicate the crisis in Georgia may have already peaked.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE:  Coronavirus in Georgia

The model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation now shows that Georgia passed its peak for virus-related deaths April 7, and hospitals may have reached their peak demand on resources last week. Earlier projections showed those milestones would not be reached until early May, after Gov. Brian Kemp's original stay-at-home order is scheduled to expire April 30.

» RELATED: Following possible peak in deaths, Kemp working on when to reopen Ga.

Monday’s numbers represent a 3.5% increase in infections in the past 24 hours. The deaths of 44 more Georgians have been attributed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, since data was last reported Sunday night.

Deaths have been reported in 101 Georgia counties, including Macon, which verified its first COVID-19 death Monday.

 

All but two counties, Glascock and Taliaferro, have confirmed at least one case. The metro Atlanta counties of Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb and Gwinnett have each verified cases in the thousands.

There are now are 2,174 cases of the virus in Fulton, 1,508 in DeKalb, 1,174 in Cobb, 1,164 in Gwinnett, 649 in Hall, 535 in Clayton, 380 in Henry, 312 in Cherokee, 282 in Carroll, 250 in Bartow, 239 in Douglas, 205 in Forsyth, 139 in Rockdale and 138 each in Paulding and Newton.

While new infections have slowed in Dougherty County, virus-related deaths continue to rise. Dougherty reported the most new deaths Monday with seven. The southwest Georgia county and its seat, Albany, have become an epicenter of the pandemic in Georgia.

Much more populous Fulton County, which reported 43 more cases since Sunday night, had three new deaths. Most of the deaths statewide have occurred among seniors over the age of 60, and about 67% had underlying conditions. The virus continues to disproportionately affect black Georgians, which have seen more confirmed cases and more deaths than any other population.

» DASHBOARD:  Real-time stats and charts tracking coronavirus in Georgia

» MORE:  Map tracks coronavirus globally in real time 

Since the outbreak began, more than 3,500 COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized across the state, according to officials. More than 84,000 tests for the virus have been conducted, with 4,395 tests performed since Sunday night.

As state leaders grapple with the decision to lessen restrictions and reopen Georgia's economy, health experts say more testing is needed to get the pandemic under control. Georgia is entering its second week of relaxed testing protocols that make anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 eligible to be tested.

According to the nation's leading experts, states must identify and track all symptomatic coronavirus cases in order to ease strict social distancing measures and prevent further burdening health care systems.

» AJC IN-DEPTH: Return to normal demands unprecedented surge in testing, experts warn

» PHOTOS: Metro Atlanta adjusts to coronavirus shifts in daily life

Kemp and other leaders are expected to detail their plans for the next phase in Georgia’s coronavirus response at a news conference scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday.

» MORE: Georgia governor to outline steps to reopen state's economy

Those who believe they are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 are asked to contact their local health department, their primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic. Do not show up unannounced at a testing site, emergency room or other health care facility.

Georgians can also call the state COVID-19 hotline at 844-442-2681 to share public health information and connect with medical professionals.

— Please return to AJC.com for updates.

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