Georgia tops 10K coronavirus cases as deaths increase to 370

Hours after Gov. Brian Kemp extended the statewide shelter-in-place order through the end of April, Georgia’s confirmed coronavirus cases crossed the 10,000 mark, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

[8:30 p.m.]: The Georgia Department of Public Health tweaked its coronavirus numbers at 8:30 p.m., adding one more death and an additional 15 cases.

Georgia’s death toll is now 370, and the state has had 10,204 cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of total hospitalizations remained the same.

The DPH also removed the totals for two Alabama counties and a South Carolina county that were added at 7 p.m. in error.

UPDATE [7 p.m.]: Hours after Gov. Brian Kemp extended the statewide shelter-in-place order through the end of April, Georgia's confirmed coronavirus cases crossed the 10,000 mark, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Since noon, the DPH recorded an additional 288 cases and seven deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to 369.

The state has amassed 10,189 cases of COVID-19. Of those, 2,082 patients have been hospitalized at some point, which is about 20.4% of all cases.

Of the 73 counties to report at least one death from COVID-19, Dougherty remained the hardest hit with 62 deaths, followed by Fulton with 42 and Cobb with 29. However, Gwinnett reported the most new deaths since noon with three.

Georgia has conducted nearly 38,800 tests, and about 26.3% of those have returned positive results.

At least 58.8% of those who died had a preexisting condition, but the DPH did not know that information for about 37.7% of the victims. Only 13 victims were confirmed to not have another condition that could have contributed to their death aside from COVID-19.

The youngest victim in Georgia was a 29-year-old Peach County woman, while the oldest was a 100-year-old woman from Greene County.

Only four counties — Evans, Glascock, Montgomery and Taliaferro — have not recorded their first case. The remaining 155 counties in Georgia have at least one, with Fulton topping the list with 1,269 confirmed cases.

A dozen cases were reported by the DPH in Edgefield, Russell and Tallapoosa counties, but those aren’t in Georgia. Edgefield is in South Carolina, while the other two are in Alabama. AJC.com has reached out to the DPH to see if this is an error and if that changes the total number of cases in Georgia.

Muscogee County recorded the most new cases since noon with 37, followed by DeKalb and Fulton with 29 each.

As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, there were 735 cases in DeKalb County, 601 in Cobb, 589 in Gwinnett, 296 in Clayton, 234 in Hall, 217 in Henry, 195 in Bartow, 157 in Cherokee, 124 in Douglas, 101 in Forsyth, 86 in Rockdale, 85 in Fayette and 67 in both Newton and Paulding.

Patients between the ages of 18 and 59 make up the majority of cases at 60%, while those 60 and older make up 35% 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 cases in Georgia are nearing 10,000 as nearly every county in the state has verified infections, according to the latest data released Wednesday.

The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed 9,901 cases as of noon, up more than 700 cases from the night before. The state has also reported 14 more deaths related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel virus, bringing the toll to 362.

Since the outbreak began, 1,993 who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been hospitalized across the state.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia

The latest rise in infections comes as Gov. Brian Kemp announced plans Wednesday to extend Georgia’s public health emergency through May 13. The new executive order would give the governor more time to use special powers and impose restrictions to contain the virus’ rapid spread.

» RELATED: Kemp extends emergency powers to mid-May to combat coronavirus

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

Kemp's original emergency declaration was set to expire next week. Under the public health emergency, Kemp has enacted a statewide stay-at-home order through April 13 that restricts all but essential activities, and he has ordered the closure of all public schools through the end of the academic year. No further restrictions or extensions were immediately announced Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, all but four of Georgia’s 159 counties had verified cases of the coronavirus. Evans, Glascock, Montgomery and Taliaferro counties remain untouched, while the virus’ impact deepens in other parts of the state.

In metro Atlanta, there are 1,240 cases of the virus in Fulton County, 706 in DeKalb, 588 in Cobb, 565 in Gwinnett, 293 in Clayton, 228 in Hall, 215 in Henry, 192 in Bartow, 183 in Carroll, 151 in Cherokee, 122 in Douglas, 86 in Rockdale, 67 in Newton and 66 in Paulding.

The five major metro counties saw the biggest increases Wednesday with a total of 150 new cases and five additional deaths. In Fulton County alone, 55 cases and two deaths were reported since Tuesday night.

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

» MORE: Map tracks coronavirus globally in real time

In Dougherty County, which has become a hot spot of the coronavirus crisis in Georgia, 13 more cases and five additional deaths were reported Wednesday.

Columbia, Jenkins and Brooks are now among the 71 counties in Georgia with a death related to the virus.

Of the deaths statewide, about 56% had underlying conditions and 83% were age 60 or older, according to health officials. Significantly more men than women have died of COVID-19 in Georgia.

Numbers have surged amid an increase in testing capacity, even as Georgia's limited supply of testing kits are being rationed to those most at risk of infection. A partnership between universities and state agencies announced last week could improve testing capabilities, although it is unclear when tests might be made widely available to the public.

» AJC IN-DEPTH: Georgia’s COVID-19 deaths surge, and a rural county coroner reels

Just over 5,000 more tests were conducted by commercial and state labs since Tuesday night, according to health officials. Additional growth is expected when the DPH releases its next update at 7 p.m.

Those who believe they are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 are asked to contact their primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic. Do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or 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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The patients were residents at PruittHealth Grandview.