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ATLANTA, GA — Health experts in Georgia say they’re concerned that COVID-19 hospitalizations may be increasing. There was no way of knowing whether that was true Wednesday, though, because the state’s online dashboard was stuck most of the afternoon.
Because of an unspecified “technical issue” announced on Georgia’s health department website, Wednesday’s coronavirus statistics came out at 10:08 p.m., more than seven hours later than usual. Normally, statistics are posted daily at about 3 p.m.
Meanwhile, the chief medical officer of one of Atlanta’s biggest hospitals said he’s starting to see a slight increase in coronavirus cases arriving in intensive care.
“We’ve gone back up a little bit over the last several days,” Dr. Robert Jansen of Grady Memorial Hospital said Wednesday to Atlanta news station WSB-TV.
Jansen told WSB-TV’s Carol Sbarge that he’d heard the same thing from other metro Atlanta hospitals. He urged everyone to continue following COVID-19 safety measures.
Jansen’s observation squares with comments Sunday by an immunology expert and veteran of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who now blogs on the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think we have bottomed out on the descent from the summer surge,” Amber Schmidtke wrote in an Oct. 18 post. “We are seeing increases once again in cases and hospital admissions.”
The worst part, Schmidtke continued, is that it’s “likely our next peak will be even bigger than the summer surge.” But that’s “not a foregone conclusion,” she added.
“We have the power to stop that, but we need to do so now with our actions,” Schmidtke wrote.
GEORGIA CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS FOR OCT. 21, 2020
The Georgia Department of Public Health in Atlanta reported a total of 343,750 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at 10:08 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21. According to the health department’s website, that includes 1,352 newly confirmed cases over the last 24 hours.
Georgia also reported 7,704 deaths so far from COVID-19, with 30 more deaths recorded in the last 24 hours. In addition, the state reported 30,676 hospitalizations — 135 more than the day before — and 5,734 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 and other metropolitan areas continue to have the highest number of positives, with Fulton County still in the lead and exceeding 30,000 cases on Wednesday.
Fulton County: 30,141 cases — 145 new
Gwinnett County: 29,916 cases — 50 new
Cobb County: 21,367 cases — 112 new
DeKalb County: 20,482 cases — 88 new
Hall County: 10,444 cases — 29 new
Chatham County: 9,220 — 45 new
Clayton County: 7,948 — 51 new
Richmond County: 7,776 — 22 new
Cherokee County: 6,820 — 42 new
Bibb County: 6,499 — 16 new
Counties in or near metro Atlanta also continue to have the most deaths from COVID-19.
Fulton County: 612 deaths — 4 new
Cobb County: 449 deaths — 1 new
Gwinnett County: 436 deaths
DeKalb County: 391 deaths — 1 new
Dougherty County: 190 deaths
Bibb County: 190 deaths — 2 new
Chatham County: 186 deaths — 3 new
Clayton County: 175 deaths — 1 new
Richmond County: 175 deaths — 1 new
Muscogee County: 173 deaths
All Georgia statistics are available on the state's COVID-19 website.
Globally, more than 41 million people have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 1.1 million people have died from it, Johns Hopkins University reported Wednesday.
In the United States, more than 8.3 million people have been infected and nearly 222,000 people have died from COVID-19 as of Wednesday. The U.S. has only about 4 percent of the world's population but more confirmed cases and deaths than any other country.