Today in Georgia

Total PCR
Tests

474,287
+2,656

7-day average:
5,181*

Confirmed
Cases

48,207
+308

7-day average:
603

Total
Deaths

2,102
+13

7-day average:
30

Data from DPH Update 6/2/20 @ 3pm
Note: Georgia DPH updates their site daily at 3pm,
so my updates will be posted in the afternoon.

* Georgia DPH now displays separate numbers for PCR tests and antibody tests on the DPH web site, so I can report on testing numbers again. They have not provided historical data though, so the 7-day average of PCR tests is an estimate. Read more about this issue and how I’m handling the historical data.

Key Points

  • Starting Tuesday, June 2, Georgia DPH will go to once daily updates at 3pm, so I’ll be able to post the daily update much earlier.
  • Testing numbers continue to be very low. Our 7-day average of testing is now way down. We need more testing, which may increase cases, but hopefully will lower % positive. Dr. Toomey is urging Georgians, especially anyone who has been attending the protests, to get a COVID test.
  • If you want to get a free COVID test, they are readily available to anyone, even those without symptoms, at many locations and special events through the state. (Find a COVID testing location near you.)
  • The daily number of newly reported cases is very low today, but so was testing. Our 7-day average of new cases is fairly low, but our % positive is higher than we want because of limited testing.
  • The increase in cases on the GA DPH graphs from 5/12 and 5/19 appears to have turned back downward (they graph cases differently than I do). May 18 is an especially high day (now 909 cases), but it looks like that may be a temporary increase due to a large batch of tests that came in at once, and cases have been declining again after 5/19.
  • There were only 13 new deaths reported today, after a large batch was entered yesterday. This brings our 7-day average back to more expected levels. Learn more about the deaths being reported in Georgia.
  • Actual deaths by date of death are still on a steady decline since April 28th. This is based on the DPH graph, where the past two weeks are still incomplete, but it looks like the decline may continue.
  • The number of current hospitalizations of COVID + patients is at 828 now, and seems like it may be trending down again. I am hopeful this downward trend will continue.

% Increase in Cases

The rate of increase in cases is something you often hear cited in the media – things like “cases increased 20%”. As a reminder, Georgia only tracks total cases, including people who have recovered, so it will only ever increase. Also, pay attention to the time period of the increase – it’s often cited over 2-3 weeks to make for a bigger percentage. The good news is that the daily percentage increases are getting smaller all the time.

Since late March, you can see that the daily average of increase dropped significantly, from over 20% increase per day to below 2.5% per day, and has stayed under 2% for over two weeks.

From the daily growth rate, you can calculate a doubling time. At the current growth rate, our doubling time for cases is up to about 53 days. If our growth rate continues to decline, it will take much longer for total cases to double.

Testing Percentages

Georgia DPH now displays separate numbers for PCR tests and antibody tests on the DPH web site, so I can report on testing numbers again. They have not provided historical data though, so I have had to estimate the impact of antibody testing over time. Read more about this issue and how I’m handling the historical data.

Testing increased dramatically after Georgia DPH announced on Thursday, May 7th that anyone in Georgia can get tested for COVID, even without symptoms, and Governor Kemp encouraged Georgians to get tested. At the same time, we saw a slight uptick in cases. You can see from this graph our percent positive from about 10% to about 5% shortly after testing restrictions were lifted, suggesting that the increase in reported cases was due to more accessible testing.

However, testing has slowed dramatically, and has been way down for a full week now, which has caused our % positive for the past 7 days to spike, and our overall % positive has stalled out at 10%. Hopefully testing picks back up this week. Without more testing, it’s hard to know if the virus is spreading or not. We don’t just want to find the sickest cases.

The impact of testing levels on case counts is why I track the current hospitalizations and deaths (by date of death) closely. These metrics are not affected by fluctuations in testing.

Ideally, we’d like the percent positive number to stay 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. (Find a COVID testing location near you.)

Current Hospitalizations

GEMA provides hospitalization data in Georgia, not DPH. I created a separate page to track and discuss this info.

Weekly Overview

I put together a weekly page to see some more high-level trends over the past several weeks, specifically regarding the amount of testing and how that affects new cases.

I did a mid-week update with the revised estimates for testing numbers now that we have a current number of antibody tests from DPH.

More Info

If you like reviewing the DPH site directly, I recommend you read this guide I put together about how to interpret their numbers and graphs.

Additional Posts

External Links