Georgia surpasses 20K cases of COVID-19, reaches 818 deaths

Since noon, Georgia surpassed 800 coronavirus-related deaths and 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

UPDATE [7 p.m.]: Since noon, Georgia surpassed 800 coronavirus-related deaths and 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The DPH also announced 19 new deaths in the seven hours since its last update, bringing the state’s death toll to 818. Additionally, 285 more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in that time frame, bringing the state’s total number of coronavirus cases to 20,166.

Of those, 3,885 patients have been hospitalized at some point, which is about 19.3% of all cases.

Of the 106 counties to report at least one death from COVID-19, Dougherty remains the hardest hit with 103 deaths, followed by Fulton with 83 and Cobb with 60. Bartow recorded the most deaths since noon with three, followed by Bibb, Gwinnett and Sumter with two each.

Across the state, public health officials recorded 43 new deaths since Monday 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 88,000 tests have been conducted in Georgia, and about 22.9% of those have returned positive results.

At least 65.8% of those who died had a preexisting condition, but the DPH did not know that information for about 31.4% of the victims. Only 23 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 45.6% of patients had their race listed as unknown.

Of the remaining patients, about 28.6% were black, 21.8% were white and 1% were Asian, according to the latest data. About 5.4% 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 43 victims is known.

About 52.6% of those who died were black and 39.5% were white, according to the latest data. Those with Hispanic ethnicity made up about 3.3% 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 2,206 confirmed cases. However, Mitchell County saw the most new cases since noon with 40, followed by Hall with 36 and DeKalb with 29.

Since Monday evening, Georgia recorded 767 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. Tuesday, there were 1,563 confirmed cases in DeKalb County, 1,238 in Gwinnett, 1,230 in Cobb, 756 in Hall, 547 in Clayton, 384 in Henry, 324 in Cherokee, 256 in Bartow, 246 in Douglas, 216 in Forsyth, 144 in Fayette, 142 in Newton and 141 in both Paulding and Rockdale.

Patients between the ages of 18 and 59 make up the majority of cases at 62%, while those 60 and older make up 34% of cases. The DPH does not release compiled data on how many patients have recovered.

For the full update, click here.

ORIGINAL STORY [noon]: Nearly 800 Georgians have died of the coronavirus since the outbreak began, officials announced Tuesday.

A total of 799 have died as a result of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new virus, with an additional 25 deaths reported since Monday night. According to the latest data from the Georgia Department of Public Health, 19,881 cases of the virus have been confirmed across the state.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE:  Coronavirus in Georgia

 

The death toll continues to mount as Georgia prepares to ease restrictions on businesses and reopen its economy. Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday that certain businesses, including salons and fitness centers, can open Friday. Restaurants, theaters and private social clubs will be allowed to open Monday.

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

» MORE: Georgia schools to remain closed as businesses begin reopening

Businesses that reopen will have to follow a set of guidelines to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus. A statewide shelter-in-place order remains in effect through April 30, although state leaders are encouraging the medically fragile to remain at home through May 13.

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

Kemp said his decision will allow Georgians to get back to work safely “without undermining the progress that we have all made in the battle against COVID-19.”

» AJC IN-DEPTH: Kemp reopens some businesses, despite warnings COVID-19 still a threat

According to the nation's leading health experts, Georgia needs to test more of its residents before the full scope of the virus' impact is known. Since the outbreak began, more than 88,000 tests have been conducted across the state, officials said. An additional 3,812 tests were included with Tuesday's update from the health department.

In the past 24 hours, verified infections have increased roughly 5%. They include an additional 41 cases in Gwinnett County, 19 cases in Cobb and 18 cases in Hall confirmed since Monday night.

There are now are 2,208 cases of the virus in Fulton, 1,534 in DeKalb, 1,222 in Gwinnett, 1,215 in Cobb, 720 in Hall, 546 in Clayton, 384 in Henry, 322 in Cherokee, 307 in Carroll, 256 in Bartow, 244 in Douglas, 213 in Forsyth, 143 in Paulding, 140 in Rockdale and 139 in Newton.

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

» MORE:  Map tracks coronavirus globally in real time 

Until last week, Georgia was only testing those with the most severe symptoms of COVID-19. It was also only counting deaths in which diagnoses for the disease were confirmed by laboratory tests, omitting symptomatic people who died before they could be tested.

All those who are showing symptoms are now eligible to be tested, and the state is following new federal death reporting guidelines that include probable cases in its official count of virus-related deaths going forward.

Deaths have been reported in more than two-thirds of Georgia’s 159 counties. Seniors and those with underlying health conditions make up the majority of COVID-19 deaths statewide.

As of Monday evening, those deaths included at least 295 residents of nursing homes and large senior care facilities, up 45 since Friday.

» RELATED: Death toll rises to 295 in Georgia's nursing homes, senior care centers

Dougherty County reported the most new deaths Tuesday with five, bringing the hard-hit southwest Georgia county’s total to 103. It has confirmed 1,446 cases of the virus, more than any Georgia county other than Fulton and DeKalb, according to data from the health department.

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.

In other news: 

Kemp also said he is allowing the statewide shelter-in-place order to expire on April 30

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