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Coronavirus in Georgia: COVID-19 Dashboard

This dashboard gives up-to-date counts for cases, deaths and other key statewide measures for the novel coronavirus. We update it at 3:15 p.m. (Sources: Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency, Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis)

The dashboard reflects the day the state reported confirmed cases, tests and deaths. This means that the new confirmed cases could be reported a day or more after the test results came back, several days after the test was taken, and a week or more after the patient was infected. So new confirmed cases reflect the spread of actual infections from a week or more ago.

Q: What is the latest on coronavirus cases in Georgia?

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Q: What is the latest on coronavirus deaths in Georgia?

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» Follow the full AJC coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Q: What is the latest on people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Georgia?

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A:  This is the number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 who are currently hospitalized, as published by the Georgia Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency. It began reporting this measure daily on May 2. It does not include those hospitalized who remain under investigation for suspected COVID. This number is updated daily.

Q: Does today’s case data show how the virus is spreading right now in Georgia?

A: No. Epidemiologists agree that today's counts are a snapshot of what the virus did roughly two weeks ago. It can take a week or more for a person to become infected, show symptoms, get tested and have their results reported to public health officials. Deaths are generally reported to the state quickly, but it can take weeks for an infected person to succumb to the virus.

Q: What does the 7-day average line indicate?

A: This measure makes it easier to see trends in the spread of the virus that can be obscured by unrelated bumps and dips. For instance, Georgia’s daily case counts tend to be lower on the weekends because reporting and testing slows down, not because fewer people are getting sick.

Q: Where are Georgia's hot spots? 

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A: Southwest Georgia is the hardest hit, but there are signs of a more recent severe outbreak in Hancock County and and an earlier one in Hall County. Hall is home to much of the state's poultry industry, which has seen a surge in cases among its workers.

Q: Why do the AJC’s charts look different from DPH's charts?

A: Recently, DPH has added trend charts to their site, “COVID-19 Cases over Time” and “Confirmed COVID Deaths over Time.” In those charts, as new reports come in, DPH allocates them to earlier dates, based on when symptoms developed; tests were taken or reported to the state; or deaths occurred.

Those two time-series charts are always going to show a downward trend because of the lag in when the data is reported. On May 1, for example, the chart of cases showed 21 news cases. Now the chart shows more than 600 for that date.

We believe showing running averages of cases and deaths, along with the day's latest data on new infections and deaths, is the most accurate and clear way to show trends over time. Many other organizations use this visualization.

This is how the AJC determines our daily count of new, confirmed cases: [Today's cumulative DPH case count] - [Yesterday's cumulative DPH case count] = Today's AJC daily count of new cases. We do the same for deaths.

» RELATED: ‘It’s just cuckoo’: state’s latest data mishap causes critics to cry foul

Q: Are there are other measures that can indicate how the virus is spreading?

A: Yes: the effective reproduction number, or Rt.

Rt is an epidemiological statistic that represents transmissibility, or the number of people a sick person infects at a given stage in the epidemic. If each person gets one person sick, the epidemic neither grows nor shrinks. Less than one means each person infects, on average, fewer than one person, so the epidemic shrinks. If Rt is larger than one, the epidemic grows. As Rt moves farther from 1, the epidemic shrinks or grows more rapidly.

The AJC calculated and compared several independent methods to estimate a value for Rt in Georgia. While the results from all were very similar, we’re displaying a method designed by the Imperial College of London that uses epidemic curves to produce Rt estimates. The college’s method is unrelated to its COVID-19 estimates.

As with other data presented on this dashboard, Rt values lag because of testing lags.

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Do you have more questions? Email us at coronavirus@ajc.com.

 

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