Atlanta COVID-19 deaths are going down drastically
ATLANTA, GA — As the number of coronavirus tests in Georgia rises, the percentage of positives continues to fall.
In a report released at 1 p.m. Friday by the Georgia Department of Public Health, the state reports 301,874 tests, with 36,681 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
That means only about 12 percent have tested positive, down from about 15-16 percent a week ago. Also a week ago, Gov. Brian Kemp opened testing to all Georgians, regardless of symptoms or health status.
Still, the death toll rises as well. The latest report shows 1,557 deaths from COVID-19, up from about 1,400 a week ago.
As of midday Friday, the top five counties with the most cases of COVID-19 are all in or near Atlanta. Fulton County has the most cases, with 3,641. DeKalb is second with 2,717, Gwinnett is third with 2,572 and Cobb is fourth with 2,371. Hall County, just outside metro Atlanta and Georgia’s newest hot spot, is fifth with 2,134 cases.
Fulton County again has the highest number of deaths, with 159. Dougherty County in southwest Georgia is second with 132 deaths, Cobb is third with 131, Gwinnett is fourth with 101 and DeKalb is fifth with 75.
Every Georgia county by now has reported at least one case of COVID-19, but 35 rural counties have yet to report any deaths. The disease continues to disproportionately affect the elderly, with only about 15 percent of those who’ve died so far being younger than 60. Also, only about 70 victims have died despite having no known pre-existing health condition
Two challenges to interpreting the data have been lag time — today’s numbers don’t necessarily represent what happened today — and inconsistencies in reporting. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday on updates from the state that showed the number of deaths actually dropping and children mistakenly are shown as having died.
For those who want to crunch the numbers for themselves, the Georgia Department of Health now offers downloadable spreadsheets on its COVID-19 landing page with most of the raw data. The state updates its coronavirus numbers at least twice a day, with overall status reports posted on the website at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 7 p.m. daily.