65 more coronavirus deaths bring Georgia’s toll near 300; cases surpass 7.5K

UPDATE [7 p.m.]: Georgia recorded 65 more coronavirus deaths since noon, bringing the state's toll to 294, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The state also added 244 new cases of COVID-19, which brings the number of cases to 7,558. Of those, 1,393 patients are hospitalized, which is about 18.4% of all cases.

Dougherty County has suffered the most deaths with 44, followed by Fulton with 32 and Cobb with 26. Dougherty recorded the most new deaths since noon with 13, followed by Mitchell with nine and Terrell with 5.

More than 31,000 tests have been conducted across the state, and about 24.2% have returned positive results.

At least 55.8% of those who have died had preexisting conditions, and 239 were 60 or older, according to the latest update. The youngest victim in Georgia was a 29-year-old Peach County woman, while the oldest was a 98-year-old woman from Dougherty County.

Atkinson and Echols counties recorded their first cases Monday afternoon, bringing the number of counties affected to 154. That leaves only five Georgia counties — Evans, Glascock, Hancock, Montgomery and Taliaferro — without confirmed cases.

Fulton County saw the largest increase in new cases with 26, followed by DeKalb with 21, Coffee with 15 and Gwinnett with 12. Fulton is the only county to top 1,000 cases with 1,053.

As of 7 p.m. Monday, there were 600 cases in DeKalb, 517 in Cobb, 455 in Gwinnett, 254 in Clayton, 182 in Bartow, 181 in Henry, 141 in Cherokee, 138 in Hall, 105 in Douglas, 85 in Forsyth, 82 in Rockdale, 74 in Fayette, 65 in Newton and 57 in Paulding.

Patients between the ages of 18 and 59 make up the majority of cases at 60%, while those 60 and older make up 35%. The DPH does not release compiled data on how many patients have recovered.

For the full update, click here.

ORIGINAL STORY [noon]: In the span of one week, the number of Georgians who have died due to the new coronavirus has more than doubled, according to data from state health officials.

Authorities on Monday confirmed 10 more deaths due to COVID-19, bringing Georgia’s death toll to 229. Last Monday, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported 87 deaths caused by the novel virus.

The latest data from the Georgia Department of Public Health shows 7,314 confirmed cases, an increase of about 8.4% from the 6,742 cases reported Sunday night.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia

Since Sunday night, commercial and state laboratories have conducted 3,442 new tests, making a total of 31,274 across the state. The health department data shows 23.4% have returned positive results.

Of those who have tested positive since the beginning of the outbreak, 1,332 are in hospitals, according to the health department.

Few parts of Georgia have gone unaffected by the virus, as 152 of the state’s 159 counties now report confirmed cases.

Fulton County surpassed 1,000 cases Monday, according to the health department. Fulton has 1,027 cases on record, more than any other county in the state and over 300 more than the county with the next largest number of cases.

Dougherty County reports 716 cases in what has become the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in Georgia.

The death toll in Dougherty stands at 31, according to the data. It remains the hardest hit county in Georgia. The county with the next highest number of deaths is Fulton with 28.

Elsewhere in metro Atlanta, there are 579 cases of the virus in DeKalb County, 515 in Cobb, 443 in Gwinnett, 244 in Clayton, 179 in Bartow, 178 in Henry, 163 in Carroll, 133 in Cherokee, 131 in Hall, 102 in Douglas, 80 in Rockdale, 60 in Newton and 54 in Paulding.

Those numbers are predicted to grow in coming weeks as plans are put in place to increase daily testing capacity. Scientific projections suggest the state will see thousands of new cases and hundreds of additional deaths before the virus is contained, AJC.com previously reported.

Growing concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak led Gov. Brian Kemp to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order. Monday opens the first full week of the order, which went into effect at 6 p.m. Friday and will last through at least April 13.

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

The order requires Georgians to remain in their homes for all but essential activities, which include buying food, seeking medical care, working in critical jobs or exercising outdoors. Kemp also ordered the closure of all public schools through the end of the academic year.

» MORE: Kemp details Georgia's statewide shelter-in-place order 

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.

» RELATED: Coronavirus cases now reported at 58 Georgia senior care facilities

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

» MORE: Map tracks coronavirus globally in real time

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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