UPDATE [7 p.m.]: The Georgia Department of Public Health on Friday night reported one more death due to COVID-19 since noon, bringing the state’s toll to 65.
The state had topped 2,000 cases at noon, and the DPH recorded an additional 197 cases since then, bringing the total to 2,198. Of those patients, 607 are hospitalized, which is about 27.6% of all cases.
Friday’s update was the first time the DPH had released data on where people died. Dougherty County led the count with 13 deaths, followed by Fulton with 12 and Cobb and Lee each with five.
Nearly 10,000 tests have been conducted across the state. About 22.2% of those returned positive results.
Chattahoochee and Hart counties recorded their first cases Friday, bringing the number of counties affected to 104. Habersham had its only case removed, and it’s unclear whether that was a false positive or if it was moved to a different county’s count.
Fulton County saw the largest increase in new cases with 40, followed by DeKalb at 38 and both Cobb and Gwinnett with 19. Fulton still leads the state in cases with 347.
As of 7 p.m. Thursday, there were 219 cases in DeKalb, 163 in Cobb, 121 in Gwinnett, 107 in Bartow, 53 in Clayton, 50 in Cherokee, 44 in Henry, 32 in Douglas, 30 in Hall, 22 in Fayette, 21 in Forsyth, 16 in Rockdale, 15 in Newton and 13 in Paulding.
Patients between the ages of 18 and 59 make up the majority of cases at 56%, while those 60 and older make up 34% of cases. The DPH does not release compiled data on how many patients have recovered.
ORIGINAL STORY [noon]: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Georgia surpassed 2,000 Friday as the death toll continues to climb.
At 2,001, the cases reported by state health officials have increased 150% since the start of this week. On Monday, the number of confirmed cases across the state was fewer than 1,000.
At least 64 Georgians have died as a result of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to the latest data from the Georgia Department of Public Health. Eight more deaths were reported since late Thursday night.
Of those infected, less than one-third are hospitalized across the state, according to health officials.
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.
Habersham County reported its first case Friday and Upson reported its first two, further widening the gap between counties affected by the virus and those untouched. Only 56 of Georgia’s 159 counties do not currently have coronavirus cases.
The situation in Dougherty County is worsening. The southwest Georgia county of about 90,000 people reported 29 new cases since late Thursday night, according to health officials. Its total of 193 confirmed cases falls behind the much larger Fulton County but ahead of all other metro Atlanta counties.
Considering the latest figures, Dougherty has the state’s highest concentration per capita of patients known to be infected with COVID-19.
Of the metro Atlanta counties, there are now 307 cases of the virus in Fulton, 181 in DeKalb, 144 in Cobb, 102 in Gwinnett, 98 in Bartow, 55 in Carroll, 46 each in Cherokee and Clayton, 40 in Henry, 27 in Douglas, 24 in Hall, 16 in Rockdale, 15 in Newton and 12 in Paulding.
The number of confirmed cases has multiplied rapidly as the virus spreads and testing capacity has ramped up. As of Friday, nearly 10,000 tests had been conducted across the state, and about 20% of those returned positive results.
As numbers balloon, Gov. Brian Kemp has renewed his call for Georgians to stay home and practice social distancing. At a town hall broadcast Thursday night, Kemp urged residents to heed directives to avoid more restrictive measures, like a statewide stay-at-home mandate.
Many Georgia cities, including several in metro Atlanta, have issued their own stay-at-home orders to residents, shutting down nonessential businesses and imposing curfews. On Thursday, Kemp extended the closure of public schools into late April.
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.