Today in Georgia

Total Viral
Tests

979,452
+20,499

7-day average:
20,796

Confirmed
Cases

100,470
3,406

7-day average:
2,740

Total
Deaths

2,899
+21

7-day average:
13

Data from DPH Update 7/7/20 @ 3:00pm
Note: Georgia DPH updates their site daily at 3pm,
so my updates will be posted in the afternoon.

Today’s Highlights:

  • I’m less focused on daily new cases at the state-wide level right now, because with expanded testing and contact tracing, we’re finding more cases in younger people and more asymptomatic cases. We’re also seeing more localized outbreaks that aren’t well represented by a state-wide numbers. Read more about this shift.
  • We had a record number of tests today (and nearly a record number of cases). 800 of our new cases today came from sources outside of the electronically reported testing. Our % positive today on electronically reported PCR tests is 12.7% – the same as yesterday – and our 7-day % positive is 12.0% compared to 12.1% a week ago.
  • About half of the cases reported today were placed on the DPH graph on July 1-2. This is typically the lab date if symptom onset date isn’t available. The rest of this week we could see lower testing numbers as a result of the break many testing facilities took from July 3-5.
  • We are testing more than ever but a higher rate of those tests is coming back positive than it did in early June. This is likely due to a combination of several factors, including: increased spread, increased testing in young populations, more targeted testing and contact tracing, and testing at-risk populations like migrant farm workers (which have been coming back with very high % positive rates).
  • There were 21 deaths reported today, even with reporting likely catching up from the holiday weekend. I added a section below for more details about death reporting, including a new graph of deaths by date of death.
  • I added new county-level maps to show where cases are increasing or decreasing in the past week as compared to the previous week.
  • The biggest increase in cases today was with Non-Georgia Residents (714), followed by the four big metro counties, as well as Lowndes, Bibb, Whitfield, Houston, and Chatham.
  • The Non-Georgia Residents category has passed Cobb to be ranked #4 in total confirmed cases in the states, behind Gwinnett, Fulton, and only barely behind DeKalb.
  • Regions of Concern: We have a few different regional outbreaks going on at once:
    • Metro Atlanta – All over the metro Atlanta area, cases have been increasing over the past couple of weeks.
    • Central Georgia (Macon, Perry, Warner Robbins and surrounding areas) – Cases are growing right now in middle Georgia.
    • SE/Coastal Georgia (Savannah, Brunswick, Statesboro, etc.) – Glynn and Chatham counties continue to show rapid growth.
    • West Central Georgia (LaGrange, Columbus, Ft. Benning) – Troup County (LaGrange) has slowed in case growth (on the DPH graphs), and Muscogee cases may be turning a corner.
    • Southern Georgia (Valdosta and surrounding areas) – I thought this might be improving, but there were two big days of cases on 6/29 and 6/30.
  • Other areas to watch:
    • Whitfield (Dalton) and nearby counties
    • Richmond (Augusta)
    • Clarke (Athens)
  • The number of current hospitalizations of COVID + patients is up a lot again today unfortunately.
  • If you want to get a free COVID test, wait times for appointments have increased, but tests are available to anyone, even those without symptoms, at many locations and special events through the state. (How to get tested for COVID in Georgia.)

Testing Percentages

As of today, our overall positive test percent is at 9.4% (for viral/PCR tests that are electronically reported), and our % positive over the last 7 days is 12.0% (down from 12.1% a week ago). Our 7-day % positive seems to have leveled off, which may be a good sign. I believe some of the reasons the percent positive increased from mid-June is that we’re seeing a surge in testing partly due to targeted testing, contact tracing, and people seeking out testing because they know someone who tested positive. These populations are more likely to have the virus than a random sampling of the population, thus higher percent positives. Learn more about cases and testing.

Ideally, 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.)

% Increase in Cases

Since late March, you can see that the daily average of increase dropped significantly, from over 20% increase per day to below 2% per day. It has crept up recently with the huge increase in testing and confirmed cases.

From the daily growth rate, you can calculate a doubling time. After several large days of new cases, our doubling time for cases is at 23 days. With the large increase in cases over the past two weeks, this is a considerably shorter time than it was two weeks ago.

Deaths

Actual deaths by date of death peaked in mid-April and have dropped significantly since. They’ve hit a plateau in mid-June as deaths have climbed in counties experiencing outbreaks and non-Georgia residents, but hopefully deaths will start declining again soon as these outbreaks improve. Deaths also hit a plateau in late May and then declined again in early June, so I am hopeful we may see this pattern repeat. Learn more about COVID deaths in Georgia.

IMPORTANT: The last two weeks of the graph of deaths by date of death are always incomplete as death reports are still coming in.

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. DPH implemented a new method to match deaths to cases, which has reduced reporting delays going forward. (See confirmation from GA DPH toward the end of this article.)

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.

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