GA Alters Death Tally, Kemp Touts Care Center Gains: Coronavirus

Deb Belt

GEORGIA — The number of coronavirus cases and deaths continues to creep up in Georgia, but Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted that progress is being made in the state's 413 long-term care facilities. On Saturday the Georgia Department of Public Health eliminated 21 deaths from its total count attributed to COVID-19, then changed the tally three hours later.

The initial result, according to the report, was a drop in the number of deaths in the state from the disease from 2,174 to 2,160 on Saturday. When the state issued a second report it added back 18 of the 21 deaths, and reported that the number of deaths had increased by four from Friday.

"Great news! As of today, 2,840 of long-term care facility residents diagnosed with COVID-19 have recovered from the virus," Kemp said Friday. "This is important progress, but we won’t stop fighting to protect Georgia’s most vulnerable.

The latest data shows that 6,084 residents in long-term care facilities have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 1,103 of those patients have died. A total of 2,840 have recovered from COVID-19 and 2,595 care facility staffers have tested positive for the respiratory disease.

As of Saturday, there have been 51,359 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Georgia, 2,178 deaths, 8,682 hospitalizations and 1,907 people admitted to the ICU. More than 622,751 Georgians have been tested for the coronavirus, and there are currently 828 people hospitalized.

That's an increase of about 3,000 more confirmed cases and 58 more deaths since Tuesday afternoon.

Counties in or near metro Atlanta continue to have the highest number of cases, with Fulton County in first with 4,820 confirmed positives. Gwinnett is now second with 4,432 cases, while DeKalb is third with 4,006, Cobb is fourth with 3,238 and Hall is fifth with 2,607.

Fulton County reports the most deaths, with 251, followed by Cobb County, with 193. Dougherty County is third with 198, Gwinnett County is fuorth with 137 deaths and DeKalb is fifth with 122 deaths.

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Starting Tuesday, changes were made to the COVID-19 daily status report on the Georgia Department of Public Health's website. These changes are designed to make the dashboard more user-friendly while providing an accurate picture of COVID-19 in Georgia, health officials said.

The changes to the daily status report include:

  • Once daily updates at 3 p.m. to allow time to process and validate laboratory and case reports.
  • Reordering the display of key summary metrics as follows: Confirmed COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, deaths, ICU admissions.
  • A breakdown of the total number of molecular tests, the total number of serology tests, and the number of positives and percentage of positives for each test type.
  • Revised charts of key demographics that more clearly present data.
  • Improved usability of charts and refinements to labelling and supporting documentation of the data.

This article originally appeared on the Midtown Patch