Georgia recorded 15 more coronavirus deaths since noon Wednesday.

Georgia surpasses 150 coronavirus deaths, reaches 4,748 total cases

UPDATE [7 p.m.]: Georgia recorded 15 more coronavirus deaths since noon Wednesday, bringing the state’s toll to 154, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The DPH also confirmed 110 more cases of COVID-19, which brings the state’s total to 4,748. Of those, 1,013 patients are hospitalized, which is about 21.3% of all cases.

Dougherty County has suffered the most deaths with 29, followed by Fulton with 20 and Cobb with 15. 

More than 20,000 tests have been conducted across the state, and about 23.4% have returned positive results. 

At least 62.3% of those who died had preexisting conditions, and only 26 were under the age of 60, according to the latest data. The youngest victim in Georgia was 29, while the oldest was 96.

Three counties — Lanier, Putnam and Union — recorded their first cases Wednesday afternoon. 

Fulton County saw the largest increase in new cases with 14, followed by Cobb with 11 and both Dougherty and Floyd with 10. Fulton still has the most cases with 638.

As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, there were 373 cases in DeKalb, 304 in Cobb, 257 in Gwinnett, 147 in Bartow, 128 in Clayton, 95 in Henry, 85 in Cherokee, 71 in Hall, 56 in Douglas, 50 in Forsyth, 48 in Fayette, 47 in Rockdale, 34 in Newton and 33 in Paulding. 

Patients between the ages of 18 and 59 make up the majority of cases at 58%, 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]: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Georgia has more than doubled in the past five days, from just over 2,000 cases Friday to more than 4,500 Wednesday.

There are now at least 4,638 cases and 139 deaths statewide, according to the latest data from the Georgia Department of Public Health. Fourteen more Georgians have died since Tuesday night as a result of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia

The count increased about 35% between Monday and Tuesday, and the latest figures represent an increase of about 13% Wednesday. Additional growth is expected when the Department of Public Health releases its next update at 7 p.m.

Of those who have tested positive for COVID-19, 952 are hospitalized Wednesday, according to the health department.

Officials say those numbers are not an accurate depiction of the crisis in Georgia with the state still rationing its limited supply of test kits to the most vulnerable. Between commercial and state laboratories, 4,145 new tests were conducted since late Tuesday night.

Within the next week, Gov. Brian Kemp has said he hopes to increase testing capacity by 3,000 tests per day.

» RELATED: Georgia announces surge coming in coronavirus test processing

As the number of cases has exploded, fewer of Georgia’s counties remain untouched by the virus. As of Wednesday, 139 of Georgia’s 159 counties, nearly 90%, have reported at least one case. 

Fulton and Dougherty counties reported the largest increases Wednesday. Dougherty, which is home to Albany and has become an epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in Georgia, confirmed 14 more cases of COVID-19 and one more death since Tuesday night.

The much larger Fulton County also reported an additional death, as well as 25 new cases. The other deaths Wednesday came from Cobb, Gwinnett, Bartow, Bryan, Calhoun, Cherokee, Douglas, Houston and Ware counties. They were the first for Bryan, Calhoun and Ware. 

Of the deaths statewide, about 62% had underlying conditions and 74% were age 60 or older, according to health officials. More men than women have died of COVID-19.

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

In metro Atlanta, there are now 624 cases of the virus in Fulton, 365 in DeKalb, 293 in Cobb, 250 in Gwinnett, 144 in Bartow, 131 in Carroll, 122 in Clayton, 90 in Henry, 83 in Cherokee, 69 in Hall, 55 in Douglas, 45 in Rockdale and 32 each in Newton and Paulding.

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

» MORE: Map tracks coronavirus globally in real time

Experts say numbers could still have further to climb before they peak, signaling a possible end to the crisis and the many restrictions placed on Georgians’ daily lives. 

» AJC IN-DEPTH: Hospitals, state scramble to prepare for coronavirus surge

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 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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