Today in Georgia

I update most my graphs and other tables daily, and provide a weekly overview each Monday based on Saturday’s numbers. The course of this pandemic does not change drastically overnight. I will try to remember to post on social media when the weekly update is available each week, but you can look for it on the web site on Mondays.

View the above data in table format

Highlights

New/updated pages

Recent Data Dumps

The state is working to get providers (like urgent care networks) reporting on a more consistent basis instead of in these large batches. However, data dumps do occur and affect the current and prior 7-day averages, as well as 2-week case rates and positivity.

  • On Sunday, May 2, almost 13K antigen tests were dumped in DeKalb County, which resulted in 449 “new” antigen cases in DeKalb. This DeKalb antigen dump was a third of the total cases reported in Georgia on May 2. These cases were not all new – 242 of the antigen cases reported in DeKalb on May 2 were more than 2 weeks old.
  • On Saturday, May 1, over 19K PCR tests were dumped in DeKalb County, but positivity was very low at 1.8%, and it did not result in an unusual number of new cases. (Perhaps the cases were already reported?). See my Twitter thread with more info.
  • Beginning Wednesday, April 28, through the end of that week, a large number of old deaths were reported going back as far as last summer. In total for the week, 60 confirmed deaths were reported that occurred in 2020. It’s possible there was an audit, but GA DPH never releases information when they dump old data into the current numbers. Without these old deaths, death reporting would have been down from the previous week. For more details with the number of deaths added per month, see the section below titled “Reported Deaths vs Actual.”
  • On 2/23, old cases started being reported (mostly from Dec 2020 and Jan 2021), causing an artificial increase in daily cases by about 20-25% daily for almost two weeks. These cases are now rolling out of 7-day and 2-week metrics.
  • On 2/18, there was a got a huge dump of old test data (est. ~25K old tests), but without an equivalent large dump of cases. As a result, I removed this day’s data entirely from the weekly test positivity calculation. Reported testing is artificially high for this week.

Antigen Cases & Probable Deaths

Antigen cases (positives from rapid tests) were added to the GA DPH web site a few months ago. Antigen positives are probable cases per the CDC, which is why they are separated out from confirmed (PCR) cases on the DPH site. I have been updating some of my maps and graphs to include antigen cases (often as total cases with confirmed and antigen cases combined).

GA DPH also reports probable deaths. These are deaths that are linked to COVID in some way, either an antigen positive, or some other epidemiological link, but without a positive PCR test. Now that we have date of death data for these cases, I have started including them in some graphs as well.

County/Regional Updates

  • To see the counties the largest daily increases, see my County Changes page. To see the hotspot counties, see the Two Week Case Rate & Positivity map on my Maps page. I have several other maps you may find helpful also.
  • The Georgia DPH Daily Status Report is also 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.
  • The Non-GA/Unknown State category “represents Non-Georgia residents and cases with unknown residence and may include in- and out-of-state cases.” There is also an Unknown category for cases without residency information. Case or death counts may go down when cases are shifted to specific counties, or when duplicates or other incorrect entries are found. Numbers for these categories as well as individual counties can be found on my Daily Changes page.
  • University of Georgia: For the latest on COVID at UGA, please see UGA’s latest surveillance testing and the most recent wastewater surveillance report from UGA.
  • For more local information, see my list of resources for Local/Regional COVID Data.

Weekly Cases per 100K

The CDC tracks cases by on the number of weekly cases per 100K people, using total cases (PCR and antigen combined), which is the blue line on the graph. These are by report date, which is subject to data artifacts from delayed reporting or data dumps from labs. I have added historic antigen case data that the state recently provided. I also labeled the rates on previous high and low points, as well as the most current day. See more Cases & Testing graphs.

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. I include 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. See more Cases & Testing graphs.

The WHO goal is to keep positivity 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

I use the number of confirmed cases reported in the past 14 days from the GA DPH web site 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. 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.

Deaths

Actual deaths by date of death initially peaked in mid-April, mid-August, and mid-January. Probable deaths (from antigen positive cases or other suspected COVID deaths that are unconfirmed by PCR) have been added to this graph. Learn more about COVID deaths in Georgia. You can see from the second graph below how death reporting significantly lags when deaths actually occurred.

IMPORTANT: Deaths by date of death are always subject to change, and the last two weeks are definitely incomplete as death reports are still coming in. Deaths for recent dates WILL INCREASE over time.

Current Hospitalizations

Below is a graph of the number of COVID positive patients currently in Georgia hospitals, as well as the number of Patients Under Investigation (possible COVID cases without a positive test). I’m not sure how a PUI is determined, and some hospital regions in Georgia seem to categorize a lot more patients as PUI than others, so I focus mostly on the COVID positive patients. See more Hospitalization graphs and data.