Georgia surpasses 4K coronavirus cases, reaches 125 deaths

A day after Georgia surpassed 3,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus cases, the state hit 4,000.

UPDATE [7 p.m.]: A day after Georgia surpassed 3,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, the state hit 4,000, the Georgia Department of Public Health announced Tuesday evening. In total, 125 patients have died as a result of the virus.

Since 12:57 p.m., the DPH announced 188 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 4,117. Of those cases, 885 patients are hospitalized, which is about 21.5% of all cases.

Fourteen more deaths were reported since this afternoon, bringing Georgia’s death toll to 125. Dougherty County has suffered the most deaths with 26, followed by Fulton with 18 and Cobb with 13.

About 16,200 tests have been conducted across the state, and about 25.4% have returned positive results.

At least 62% of those who died had preexisting conditions, and only 22 were under the age of 60, according to the latest data. The youngest victim in Georgia was 29, while the oldest was 95.

Two counties — Emanuel and Walker — recorded their first confirmed case of COVID-19.

Fulton County saw the largest increase in new cases with 52, followed by DeKalb with 35 and Floyd with 17. Fulton is one case shy of 600.

As of 7 p.m., there were 360 cases in DeKalb, 287 in Cobb, 242 in Gwinnett, 137 in Bartow, 112 in Clayton, 86 in Henry, 78 in Cherokee, 67 in Hall, 51 in Douglas, 48 in Fayette, 47 in Forsyth, 45 in Rockdale and 31 in both Newton and 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 date on how many patients have recovered.

For the full update, click here.

— Please return to AJC.com for updates.

UPDATE [12:57 p.m.]: Between the Georgia Department of Public Health's noon and 7 p.m. updates, the department tweaked the statewide total for coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations.

The DPH recorded 3,929 confirmed cases, 111 deaths and 833 hospitalizations, which is about 21.2% of all cases. The update added 112 cases to the total along with three deaths.

The next anticipated update will be at 7 p.m. For the full update, click here.

ORIGINAL STORY [noon]: Confirmed coronavirus cases in Georgia have risen steadily Tuesday after reaching two unwelcome benchmarks the day before: the recording of the state's 3,000th case and its 100th death.

There are now at least 3,817 cases statewide, according to the latest data from the Georgia Department of Public Health. Six more Georgians have died since Monday night as a result of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, bringing the state's toll to 108.

The new deaths were reported in Fulton, Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton and Fayette counties. Of the deaths statewide, about 68% had underlying conditions and 76% were age 60 or older, according to health officials.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia

The latest case count is an increase of about 26% from Monday's figures, which totaled 3,032. However, with Georgia still rationing its limited supply of test kits to the most vulnerable, health officials say those numbers are likely not a true depiction of the virus' impact in Georgia.

About 2,700 new tests were performed since Monday night, with the state's lab conducting just 26 of those. On Tuesday, Gov. Brian Kemp and the state's public colleges and universities announced plans to dramatically increase testing capacity by some 3,000 tests per day.

» AJC IN-DEPTH: Signs of progress in Georgia COVID fight carry a caveat: Our actions

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

Metro Atlanta remains the hardest hit, but one southwest Georgia county reported a sharp increase in cases Tuesday. Dougherty County — whose county seat, Albany, has become an epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in Georgia — has confirmed 177 more cases since Monday night.

The county of about 90,000 people has now seen at least 455 cases, less than the much larger Fulton County but significantly more than any other county in the state. Eighteen people have died in Dougherty since the outbreak began, and no new deaths were reported there Tuesday.

There are now 547 cases of the virus in Fulton, 325 in DeKalb, 272 in Cobb, 233 in Gwinnett, 129 in Bartow, 122 in Carroll, 96 in Clayton, 76 in Henry, 74 in Cherokee, 65 in Hall, 48 in Douglas, 34 in Rockdale, 29 in Newton and 28 in 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.

Statewide, public schools, bars and nightclubs remain closed, many public gatherings are banned, and the elderly and medically fragile are ordered to shelter in place. Locally, more restrictive stay-at-home orders are in place in some cities and counties.

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

One model cited by an Emory University infectious disease expert shows the number of coronavirus deaths should peak April 23, with the number of infections peaking a few days prior.

» RELATED: Study: Georgia COVID-19 deaths to peak on April 23

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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