ATLANTA, GA — Georgia passed a grim milestone Saturday, reporting more than 5,000 total deaths from COVID-19 for the first time.
With 5,092 total deaths tallied in Saturday’s daily report, Georgia joined nine other states that have surpassed 5,000 deaths.
Georgia is also the second southern state to exceed 5,000 deaths, bested only by nearby Florida, which has posted more than 10,000 deaths.
While Georgia’s daily tally of new cases has leveled off somewhat — only 2,615 positive tests for the coronavirus — the number daily tally of new deaths remains high. This represents the aftermath of the spike in new cases from a few weeks ago.
There is some good news: The percentage of positive tests also has leveled off at just north of 10 percent. While this is far less than ideal — the World Health Organization advises governments to be able to show positivity rates of 5 percent or less for at least two weeks before reopening — at least the numbers aren’t still rising.
The Georgia Department of Public Health reported a total of 252,222 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at 2:50 p.m. Saturday. According to the health department’s website, that includes 2,615 newly confirmed cases over the last 24 hours.
Georgia also reported 5,092 deaths so far from COVID-19, with 95 more deaths recorded in the last 24 hours. In addition, the state reported 23,325 hospitalizations — 200 more than the day before — and 4,251 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: 23,622 cases — 247 new
Gwinnett County: 22,991 cases — 205 new
DeKalb County: 15,860 cases — 129 new
Cobb County: 15,816 cases — 129 new
Hall County: 6,981 cases — 65 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: 489 deaths — 3 new
Cobb County: 368 deaths — 10 new
Gwinnett County: 304 deaths — 2 new
DeKalb County: 278 deaths — 6 new
Dougherty County: 174 deaths — 1 new
As of Saturday, Georgia has administered more than 2.4 million COVID-19 tests, with about 11 percent of those tests the less reliable ones used to detect antibodies.
For the more reliable test for the virus itself, 10.6 percent of tests came back positive. For the less reliable test for antibodies, 7.3 percent came back positive. The overall positive rate was about 10.3 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.
All Georgia statistics are available on the state's COVID-19 website.
Globally, more than 23 million people have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 801,000 people have died from it, Johns Hopkins University reported Saturday.
In the United States, more than 5.6 million people have been infected and nearly 176,000 people have died from COVID-19 as of Saturday. The U.S. has only about 4 percent of the world's population but more confirmed cases and deaths than any other country.