UPDATE [7 p.m.] Over the last seven hours, state health officials have reported three more COVID-19 related deaths and nearly 200 new cases across Georgia.
The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the state reached 28,332 on Saturday, and the number of people who have died of complications from the disease increased to 1,174, according to the latest data from the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Nearly 5,390 COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized in Georgia so far and at least 1,249 of those people were admitted into a hospital’s intensive care unit.
As of 7 p.m., a total of 174,800 people have been tested for COVID-19, and roughly 16.2% of those tests have returned positive results.
Dougherty County continues to lead the state in deaths with 124, followed by Fulton County with 122 and Cobb with 96.
As of Saturday evening, there are 2,925 cases of COVID-19 in Fulton, 2,148 in DeKalb, 1,932 in Gwinnett, 1,749 in Cobb, 1,694 in Hall, 777 in Clayton, 512 in Henry, 482 in Cherokee, 383 in Carroll, 335 in Douglas, 324 in Bartow, 331 in Forsyth, 205 in Newton, and 194 cases in both Rockdale and Paulding counties.
— Please return to AJC.com for updates.
ORIGINAL STORY: [11:30 a.m.:] One day after reporting more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases in a single 24-hour period, data released by state health officials Saturday morning show the number of confirmed cases in Georgia increased by another 999.
The Georgia Department of Public Health also reported an additional two dozen coronavirus-related deaths since noon Friday.
Georgia’s COVID-19 death toll now stands at 1,171, and at least 28,133 residents have tested positive for the disease. As of Friday morning, state health officials reported 27,134 infections and 1,147 deaths.
» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia
The continued increase in the number of cases and deaths comes as Georgia emerges from a monthlong shelter-in-place order. Friday was the first day for lessened restrictions on travel, business and other activities for most Georgians.
While shops and some restaurants have started reopening, many residents remain wary about venturing out into public amid the global pandemic.
When Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday he was lifting the shelter-at-home order for most Georgians, he said the economic consequences of the lockdown equaled the threat from the new coronavirus.
All elderly and medically fragile residents have been instructed to stay home until at least June 12, and reopening businesses must follow social-distancing and sanitation guidelines.
Still, public health experts have criticized the governor’s decision to reopen the state, predicting a surge of new cases in the coming weeks.
As of Saturday morning, Fulton led all counties with 2,923 confirmed cases, followed by DeKalb with 2,128, Gwinnett with 1,918 and Cobb with 1,748.
Hard-hit Dougherty County, which has a population of about 90,000, is reporting 1,534 cases and 124 deaths.
Across other metro Atlanta counties, there are now 1,601 confirmed cases in Hall, 777 in Clayton, 508 in Henry, 481 in Cherokee, 380 in Carroll, 335 in Douglas, 324 in Bartow, 326 in Forsyth, 205 in Newton, 194 in Rockdale and 194 in Paulding, according to the latest data.
Those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are urged to schedule an appointment with their local health department, primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic to get tested. Do not show up unannounced at a testing site, emergency room or other health care facility.
State and local officials are also partnering with the CDC to conduct antibody testing at randomly selected homes in Fulton and DeKalb counties through Monday.
Georgians can 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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