ATLANTA, GA — The coronavirus in Georgia is leaving 2020 on a high note — literally.
On New Year’s Eve, Georgia’s health department reported 8,551 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — a new record — tallied over the last 24 hours. The previous record, 7,949 new cases, was set on Christmas Eve.
Georgia also reported 3,539 antigen-positive cases. Counting both the confirmed cases and the slightly less reliable antigen-positive cases together, Georgia racked up about 12,000 new COVID-19 cases, another record.
The state recorded comparably high numbers in other key one-day statistics: 68 deaths, 306 hospitalizations and 92 more patients sent to intensive-care units.
The explosion in new COVID-19 cases comes the same day that Gov. Brian Kemp announced Georgia would expand eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations, particularly outside metro Atlanta.
"Here in metro Atlanta, there's still a waiting list of hundreds of health care workers waiting to get vaccinated. But in many parts of rural Georgia, both the north and the south, there's vaccines available and literally sitting in freezers," Dr. Kathleen Toomey of the Georgia Department of Public Health said Thursday morning. "That's not acceptable. We have lives to save."
You can read Patch’s coverage of Kemp’s announcement here.
Georgia Coronavirus Numbers for Dec. 31, 2020
The Georgia Department of Public Health in Atlanta reported a total of 566,676 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at 2:50 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31. According to the health department’s website, that includes 8,551 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours. In addition, Georgia reported 3,539 new antigen-positive cases over the last 24 hours, which are considered to be probable cases of COVID-19.
Georgia has reported 9,872 deaths so far from COVID-19, with 68 more confirmed deaths recorded in the last 24 hours. Georgia also reported 1,062 probable deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. These probable deaths include fatalities with indirect evidence of COVID-19.
Georgia reported 42,084 hospitalizations — 306 more than the day before — and 7,417 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 COVID-19 positives, with Gwinnett County in the lead, Fulton County close behind it, and all to-10 counties posting triple-digit increases. These statistics do not include antigen-positive cases.
Gwinnett County: 51,509 cases — 878 new
Fulton County: 50,873 cases — 697 new
Cobb County: 36,865 cases — 625 new
DeKalb County: 35,415 cases — 511 new
Hall County: 17,469 cases — 236 new
Clayton County: 13,278 — 268 new
Chatham County: 12,842 — 151 new
Cherokee County: 12,782 — 200 new
Richmond County: 12,608 — 145 new
Henry County: 11,112 — 278 new
Counties in or near metro Atlanta also continue to have the most deaths from COVID-19.
Fulton County: 739 deaths — 3 new
Gwinnett County: 562 — 4 new
Cobb County: 554 deaths — 5 new
DeKalb County: 494 deaths — 3 new
Bibb County: 240 deaths — 1 new
Chatham County: 230 deaths — 1 new
Clayton County: 222 deaths — 3 new
Hall County: 220 deaths — 3 new
Richmond County: 219 deaths
Dougherty County: 205 deaths — 1 new
All Georgia statistics are available on the state's COVID-19 website.
Globally, more than 83.1 million people have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 1.8 million people have died from it, Johns Hopkins University reported Thursday.
In the United States, nearly 19.9 million people have been infected and more than 340,000 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.