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 9/18/20
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:

  • Reported testing is high, but without old/repeat tests, the positivity is much lower and more accurate to our current situation than the past two days. Testing today is actually under-reported, with over 600 cases from non-ELR test data. In the previous two days, 47% of positive tests came from just four counties in NE Georgia (Hall, Habersham, Stephens, and Union). This data dump inflated our percent positive, and was not indicative of the current situation at all. I confirmed that we onboarded a new lab that is now reporting via ELR and that was the source of the tests from those counties. With those tests removed, our % positive Wednesday would have been 5.9% and yesterday would have been 6.7%.
  • Current hospitalizations are down again today. View current hospitalizations by region (select the region from the drop-down in the top right corner).
  • Deaths by date of death have peaked at an average of 70.6 deaths/day on August 7, and stayed near that level August 13 before dropping more. Of the 63 deaths reported today, 34 occurred in the past two weeks.
  • Regarding school cases: I wrote up a thread on Twitter about COVID surveillance in Georgia school age children (pediatric and college age) here that you may find interesting. As data has come in this week, it’s even more clear that Clarke County cases (UGA) have fallen sharply after a peak, just like what happened in Baldwin and Bulloch. And after a spike in cases among college-age students, the 7-day average of reported cases in those 18-29 is now at its lowest since June 25.

County/Regional Updates:

  • 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.
  • GEMA discontinued their daily SITREP, so I added a new page to my site with a list and map showing Daily Changes by County in cases, deaths, and hospitalizations.
  • Biggest case increases today (50+ cases): Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Floyd*, Richmond, DeKalb, Baldwin*
    * Also exceeded 50 cases per 100K.
  • Additional counties of note with highest increases per 100K (20-49 cases, 50+ cases per 100K): Coffee, Habersham, Stewart
  • The Non-GA/Unknown State category is now at 16,567 cases (-117) and 147 (+1) 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 2,465 cases (+9) and 4 deaths. Case or death counts may go down when cases are shifted to specific counties, or when duplicates or other incorrect entries are found.
  • For more local information, see my list of resources for Local/Regional COVID Data.
Counties of ConcernElbert, Montgomery, Taylor, Towns
Counties I’m WatchingBurke, Clarke, Effingham, Emanuel, Fannin, Floyd, Franklin, Irwin, Haralson, Jackson, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Madison, Oconee, Pulaski, Screven, Seminole, Union, Walker

Weekly Cases per 100K

The White House tracks states based on the number of weekly cases per 100K people. The WH report leaked this week showed Georgia in the red at 132 weekly cases per 100K, and next week’s report should show 108 weekly cases per 100K. Today, we’re at 113 weekly cases per 100K (cases are up this week after a lull in testing and reporting after Labor Day. In order to get out of the red, we’ll need to get below 100 weekly cases per 100K, but that could be soon. See our weekly progress in the graph below (Friday values are shown, which is what the WH reports use).

Testing Percentages

Testing percentages 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.

It will be good if we can keep the % positive below 10%. 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.)

% 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 4 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, then the rate of increase slowed until it started decreasing.

The graph below is curving up slightly on recent days, but still under 0%, indicating that right now cases are still declining, but not as quickly as they have been.

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 on August 7 (at an average of 70.6 deaths/day), 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: 1186 deaths
  • May: 954 deaths
  • June: 621 deaths (1 added)
  • July: 1405 deaths (2 added)
  • August (so far): 1818 deaths (22 added)
  • September (so far): 315 deaths (38 added)

As of September 12, counties with the most recent deaths (10 or more in 2 weeks) are Bibb (11) and Gwinnett (11). Other counties with 5 or more recent deaths include: Fulton, Glynn, Cobb, Floyd, Muscogee, Richmond, Columbia, Coweta, and Newton. This list has been gotten much shorter over the past two weeks with a lot fewer counties having 5+ deaths in recent weeks.

On September 16, the counties that reported the most deaths were Chatham (4), followed by Clarke, Cobb, Fulton, Hall, and Toombs, each with 3 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 September 12 now available!)