3 Counties Singled Out By White House Task Force

ATLANTA, GA — Georgia’s overall coronavirus numbers continue to trend downward, according to the state’s Thursday-afternoon report.

Only about 1,900 newly confirmed cases were reported by the Georgia Department of Public Health. The state also reported 76 more deaths from COVID-19.

Numbers from the White House task force earlier this week reflect the same trend, showing 10.8 percent fewer cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Georgians, as well as 4 percent fewer deaths.

At the same time, the report raised concerns about the University of Georgia’s home county, as well as two other counties at the edge of metro Atlanta.

“Cases are rising in Clarke, Hall and Cherokee Counties and this spread must be contained,” the report said.

The White House task-force report further singled out “university spread,” which it said was already undoing progress seen in other states as college students mingled and carried the coronavirus home with them.

In response, University of Georgia officials announced Tuesday that they would beef up their COVID-19 testing program, screening 90 more faculty, students and staff a day, including those with no obvious symptoms.

Those who test positive for COVID-19 don’t necessarily become ill — in some cases, they may not even show symptoms — but they can spread the coronavirus to others who are vulnerable.

GEORGIA CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported a total of 289,123 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at 2:50 p.m. Thursday. According to the health department’s website, that includes 1,930 newly confirmed cases over the last 24 hours.

Georgia also reported 6,204 deaths so far from COVID-19, with 76 more deaths recorded in the last 24 hours. In addition, the state reported 26,062 hospitalizations — 217 more than the day before — and 4,776 admissions so far to intensive-care units.

No information is available from Georgia about how many patients have recovered.

Counties in or near metro Atlanta continue to have the highest number of positives, with Fulton County still in the lead.

  • Fulton County: 25,934 cases — 73 new

  • Gwinnett County: 25,495 cases — 119 new

  • Cobb County: 18,155 cases — 150 new

  • DeKalb County: 17,314 cases — 77 new

  • Hall County: 8,266 cases — 77 new

Counties in or near metro Atlanta also continue to have the most deaths from COVID-19. The lone exception is Dougherty County, site of Georgia’s first major outbreak.

  • Fulton County: 550 deaths — 1 removed

  • Cobb County: 409 deaths — 3 new

  • Gwinnett County: 366 deaths — 5 new

  • DeKalb County: 333 deaths — 9 new

  • Dougherty County: 181 deaths — 1 new

As of Thursday, Georgia has administered more than 2.8 million COVID-19 tests, with about 10.1 percent of those tests the less reliable ones used to detect antibodies.

For the more reliable test for the virus itself, 10.4 percent of tests came back positive. For the less reliable test for antibodies, 7.9 percent came back positive. The overall positive rate was about 10.1 percent.

As more Georgians were tested over the last month, the percentage of positive tests inched upward from about 8 percent to more than 10 percent. However, over the last few weeks, the percentage of positives has stabilized at just more than 10 percent and is now starting to slowly drop. According to the World Health Organization, positive test results should no more than 5 percent for two weeks before reopening for business as usual. Georgia largely reopened for business in April and May, and since then Gov. Brian Kemp has promoted the use of face masks but has steadfastly refused to mandate them.

All Georgia statistics are available on the state’s COVID-19 website.

Globally, more than 27.6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 905,000 people have died from it, Johns Hopkins University reported Thursday.

In the United States, more than 6.3 million people have been infected and more than 191,000 people have died from COVID-19 as of Thursday. The U.S. has only about 4 percent of the world’s population but more confirmed cases and deaths than any other country.

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This article originally appeared on the Douglasville Patch

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