Today in Georgia

TotalToday*7-day Average7-day Average
(Week Ago)
Viral Tests
(ELR Only)

% Positive
Past 7 Days
Prior 7 Days
Last Week
From Peak
PUI (Patients Under
Data from DPH Update 10/20/20
The Georgia DPH Daily Status Report is updated daily at 3pm, and my site is updated later.
*Additions to cases and deaths listed above are net changes from yesterday, which may not match the Reported Today section on the GA DPH site. Read more on this discrepancy.

Today’s Highlights:

  • Testing is a little low (similar to last week), and today’s % positive is 7.3% (compared to 7.5% last week). The two-week % positive by lab collection date is 5.9% today, up from 5.6% a week ago.
  • Confirmed cases do not include antigen tests at this time, but it is supposed to be coming soon. Based on data from other states, this is not expected to make a large difference in the number of cases. Georgia DPH has stated they are working to add this data, as many other states have been adding it in recent weeks. These will be probable cases per the CDC, and I suspect they will be separated out from confirmed cases on the DPH site. Based on data from the past few County Indicators Report, probable cases added 13% to our case totals this week (1167 probables), and 25% to our case totals last week (2131 probables). I’m not sure why there was such variation from week to week. Hopefully, we’ll get some antigen testing data soon so we can make more sense out of this data.
  • Current hospitalizations and PUIs are both up a little today, but are lower than last Tuesday. In the past two weeks, hospitalizations for COVID patients are up ~50% in Regions A (NW GA) & H (East Central GA), and down ~25% in regions J-M (South and Coastal GA). View current hospitalizations by region (select the region from the drop-down in the top right corner). ICU and ventilator usage (for all patients, not just COVID patients) are still way down from their peaks.
  • Deaths by date of death peaked at an average of ~74 deaths/day from Aug 11-13, and have been falling since. 7 of the 17 deaths reported today occurred more than 14 days ago.
  • An infant death in Wheeler County appeared on the web site yesterday, but as I reported yesterday, that was in error, and the death was removed today. There was also a pediatric death reported last week of a 17-year-old boy from Dodge County. Reports indicate that he died after being in the hospital since August as the result of serious injuries from a car crash (but apparently he tested positive for COVID at some point).
  • I have a new article on my web site about the data on school re-openings in Georgia, as well as a compilation resources about the importance of getting kids back in school.

County/Regional Updates:

County HotspotsHighest case increases today
(50+ cases)
Highest case increases per 100K
(20-49 cases, 50+ cases/100K)
Appling, Bartow, Bleckley, Brantley, Candler, Dodge, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Floyd, Franklin, Gordon, Laurens, Montgomery, Oglethorpe, Stephens, Toombs, Treutlen, Ware, Wheeler, WhitfieldGwinnett, Fulton, DeKalb, Hall, Cobb, Chatham

* Exceeded 50 cases/100K (none)
  • The Georgia DPH Daily Status Report is a good source for graphs of % positive and total tests performed per county, and includes a map showing % positive by county. Be sure to use the “by collection date” version and ignore the most recent few days because they are very incomplete and the numbers could change dramatically.
  • I updated my Active Cases map, and my map showing Daily Changes by County in cases, deaths, and hospitalizations to include the 2-week case rate (per 100K) and the % positivity by county.
  • The state has been reallocating a lot of “Non-Georgia Resident” cases to other counties recently, so county increases have been higher than the total number of new cases would indicate. This also inflates the 14-day case total of new cases and the 7-day average of reported cases per county that many people use as a key metric.
  • The Non-GA/Unknown State category is now at 14,288 cases (-208) and 180 (+2) deaths. GA DPH has said this category “represents Non-Georgia residents and cases with unknown residence and may include in- and out-of-state cases.” The Unknown category is now at 1,865 cases (-75) and 6 deaths. Case or death counts may go down when cases are shifted to specific counties, or when duplicates or other incorrect entries are found.
  • Fulton County has seen an increase in reported cases in the past 2 weeks. This is a combination of a real increase in new cases, as well as older cases that were reported on Oct. 6-9, which artificially inflates the numbers, including the 2-week cases per 100K metric unfortunately.
  • University of Georgia: UGA’s latest surveillance testing % positive is up a little to 1.44%, and overall new cases among students, staff, and faculty were flat from last week were up from 68 to 92 cases. There were 155 tests given at the Univ. Health Center for those with symptoms. Of those, 11 were positive, for a 7% positive among sick patients. The latest wastewater surveillance report from UGA had mixed results. One location sampled saw virus levels decrease “to at or below the limit of detection” while the other location saw an increase. Levels are still down from their peak on September 1.
  • For more local information, see my list of resources for Local/Regional COVID Data.

Weekly Cases per 100K

The White House tracks states based on the number of weekly cases per 100K people. The WH report leaked last week showed Georgia at 79 weekly cases per 100K (based on last Friday’s numbers) — well into the Orange Zone. With the increase in cases this past week, the next report will show 83 weekly cases per 100K. This was formerly the Yellow zone, but the latest White House report now calls this the Orange Zone, and the Yellow Zone starts at 50 weekly cases per 100K. Today, we’re at 88 weekly cases per 100K. The next goal is to get below 70 weekly cases per 100K to get the NY/NJ travel ban lifted. See our weekly progress in the graph below (Friday values are marked on the graph, which is what the WH reports use).

Percent Positivity

The percentage of positive tests are listed in the table at the top of the page as well as shown in the graph below. See more cases and testing graphs. I added the 2-week % positive by lab collection date to this graph, in orange, so you can see how it tracks along with the 7-day average of % positive by report date. Note that I sometimes used an adjusted % positive by report date when it’s obvious a data dump occurred.

We’d like the percent positive number to be below 5% to ensure that we are testing widely enough to identify COVID cases in our state and local communities. Lots of free testing events and locations are now available across the state, the state is encouraging people to get tested. (How to get tested for COVID in Georgia.)

% Change in Active Cases

Now that our % increase in total cases is consistently under 1% per day and our doubling time is up to about 6 months, I’ve decided to remove the graph I used to have showing % increase in total cases.

This new graph shows the rate of change for active cases. I use the number of cases reported in the past 14 days as “active cases”. When the rate is below 0, the number of active cases are decreasing, and the further below zero it gets, the faster the active cases are decreasing. You can see active cases were increasing at over 7% per day in early July when the virus peaked in Georgia.

For local case change trends, I added county-level maps to show where cases are increasing or decreasing in the past week as compared to the previous week.


Actual deaths by date of death initially peaked in mid-April (at an average of 44 deaths/day) and then dropped significantly from our Spring peak. Deaths rose again in July, peaking at an average of ~74 deaths/day from August 11th-13th, and they are now heading back down again. Learn more about COVID deaths in Georgia.

Deaths per month are listed below. We saw a significant drop in deaths (by date of death) in the month of June, but July and August have exceeded June deaths due to the recent outbreaks. (Note that these numbers are subject to change as older deaths can be added at any time – although generally the older months should change very little at this point.)

  • March: 238 deaths
  • April: 1189 deaths (1 added)
  • May: 956 deaths
  • June: 632 deaths
  • July: 1441 deaths
  • August: 1956 deaths (1 added)
  • September: 1023 deaths (3 added)
  • October (so far): 239 deaths (12 added)

On October 20, no counties reported more than 2 deaths. This is by date of report – these deaths did not occur in the past 24 hours.

IMPORTANT: The last two weeks of the graph of deaths by date of death are always incomplete as death reports are still coming in, with the most recent dates being the most incomplete. Deaths for recent dates WILL INCREASE over time.

NOTE: The spike in reported deaths in mid-June was due to an unusual reporting delay where over 100 much older deaths were all reported June 9-13.

Current Hospitalizations

GEMA publishes hospitalization data in Georgia – it is not on the DPH site. I created a separate page to track and review hospitalization data in more detail, but will also share the current hospitalization data here. Learn more about current Hospitalizations in Georgia.

NOTE: Additional information about hospital capacity and ventilator usage is published by GEMA later in the day than the rest of the DPH metrics.

Weekly Overview

I put together a weekly page with more in-depth analysis of high-level trends over the past several weeks.

Weekly Overview (Week ending October 17 – NOW AVAILABLE)