Georgia records nearly 850 coronavirus deaths; cases surpass 21K

Georgia recorded 10 new coronavirus-related deaths since noon, bringing the state’s toll to 846, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

UPDATE [7 p.m.]: Georgia recorded 10 new coronavirus-related deaths since noon Wednesday, bringing the state's toll to 846, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

In addition, 362 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in that time frame, bringing the state’s count to 21,102. Of those, 4,018 patients have been hospitalized at some point, which is about 19% of all cases.

Of the 106 counties to report at least one death from COVID-19, Dougherty remains the hardest hit with 106 deaths, followed by Fulton with 85 and Cobb with 63. Since noon, Cobb recorded the most new deaths with two.

Across the state, public health officials recorded 28 new deaths since Tuesday evening.

This chart shows the rolling seven-day average for deaths during the coronavirus pandemic in Georgia. It also includes the percent change for the average number of deaths each day.
This chart shows the rolling seven-day average for deaths during the coronavirus pandemic in Georgia. It also includes the percent change for the average number of deaths each day.

Credit: Georgia Department of Public Health

Credit: Georgia Department of Public Health

More than 94,000 tests have been conducted in Georgia, and about 22.4% of those have returned positive results.

At least 65.6% of those who died had a preexisting condition, but the DPH did not know that information for about 31.6% of the victims. Only 24 were confirmed to not have another condition that could have contributed to their death aside from COVID-19.

The DPH also releases data on the race and ethnicity of patients, but about 41.6% of patients had their race listed as unknown.

Of the remaining patients, about 30.5% were black, 23.3% were white and 1.2% were Asian, according to the latest data. About 6.2% 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 47 victims is known.

About 52% of those who died were black and 40% were white, according to the latest data. Those with Hispanic ethnicity made up about 3% of the death toll, while Asians comprised of 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 2,255 confirmed cases. However, Hall County saw the most new cases since noon with 129, followed by Butts with 42 and Fulton with 33.

Since Tuesday evening, Georgia recorded 936 new cases.

This chart shows the rolling seven-day average for new cases during the coronavirus pandemic in Georgia. It also includes the percent change for the average number of new cases each day.
This chart shows the rolling seven-day average for new cases during the coronavirus pandemic in Georgia. It also includes the percent change for the average number of new cases each day.

Credit: Georgia Department of Public Health

Credit: Georgia Department of Public Health

As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, there were 1,609 confirmed cases in DeKalb County, 1,273 in Gwinnett, 1,272 in Cobb, 907 in Hall, 549 in Clayton, 386 in Henry, 340 in Cherokee, 259 in Bartow and Douglas, 227 in Forsyth, 146 in Fayette and Newton, 145 in Paulding and 144 in Rockdale.

Patients between the ages of 18 and 59 make up the majority of cases at 62%, while those 60 and older make up 33% of cases. The DPH does not release compiled data on how many patients have recovered.

For the full update, click here.

ORIGINAL STORY [noon]: State health officials have verified an additional 574 cases of the new coronavirus and 18 more deaths Wednesday.

The latest data from the Georgia Department of Public Health shows 20,740 confirmed cases and 836 deaths statewide, up from 818 deaths reported Tuesday.

For the past five days, new infections have increased at a rate of 5% or less. Georgia’s death toll continues to climb, with more than 150 deaths attributed to COVID-19 since Friday.

» RELATED: What to know about Kemp's decision to ease coronavirus restrictions

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia

 

Just two days before the state begins to reopen its economy, Georgia is working to increase its testing capacity in order to quickly identify and isolate new cases.

An additional 5,932 tests were conducted statewide since data was last reported Tuesday night, including 281 tests performed by the state’s lab.

Wednesday marks one week since broader coronavirus testing began in Georgia. At the start of the outbreak, only the most vulnerable and those with severe cases were referred for testing. Relaxed protocols now in effect statewide make anyone with symptoms of the virus eligible to be tested.

» RELATED: Mass coronavirus testing Wednesday at Infinite Energy Center

» MORE: Georgia to lean into telehealth, web portal in COVID-19 fight

To avoid a spike in cases when restrictions are lifted, public health experts estimate that Georgia needs to greatly increase its daily number of tests. Conservative estimates indicate that number would need to double or even triple to successfully contain the virus, according to experts.

» AJC IN-DEPTH: Georgia's evolving testing machinery will be tested as state reopens

COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in all but two Georgia counties, Glascock and Taliaferro. More than 100 have reported a virus-related death, with most deaths coming from Dougherty County. The hard-hit community in southwest Georgia has verified 107 deaths and 1,468 cases as of Wednesday, according to officials.

Numbers continue to swell in metro Atlanta, but one county in South Georgia also reported large increases Wednesday. Appling County has now verified 46 cases and two virus-related deaths, doubling its previous counts.

In metro Atlanta, there are 2,222 cases of the virus in Fulton, 1,587 in DeKalb, 1,263 in Gwinnett, 1,259 in Cobb, 778 in Hall, 548 in Clayton, 388 in Henry, 331 in Cherokee, 311 in Carroll, 258 in Bartow, 253 in Douglas, 223 in Forsyth, 144 each in Newton and Paulding, and 143 in Rockdale.

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

» MORE:  Map tracks coronavirus globally in real time 

Under Gov. Brian Kemp’s latest order, salons, fitness centers, bowling alleys and certain other nonessential businesses are able to open Friday. Restaurants, theaters and private social clubs will be allowed to open Monday.

All of Georgia remains under a shelter-in-place order through April 30, although state leaders are encouraging the medically fragile to remain at home through May 13.

» CONTINUING COVERAGE: Kemp on coronavirus rollback: 'This is not a giant leap forward'

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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