Georgia no longer worst state for coronavirus transmission

You're most likely to be exposed to coronavirus in Georgia, two studies found.
You're most likely to be exposed to coronavirus in Georgia, two studies found.(WRDW)
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 6:33 AM EDT
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - Georgia has given up the dubious title of being the state where COVID-19 is spreading the fastest.

Georgia dipped below Mississippi in recent days for rate of spread, according to a 14-day average kept by The Associated Press.

The virus is still spreading rapidly in the Peach State compared to other places, though.

Here’s a look at some of the latest statistics from the Georgia Department of Public Health:

Positive indicators

COVID-19 cases

  • During the week from Aug, 10-27, the state’s weekly statewide case numbers decreased by 11%.
  • The seven-day average of new cases reported is down 30% from the peak on July 24
  • The top percentage of case numbers still comes from high-population counties in metro Atlanta, although they are experiencing 20-30% decreases in case numbers.


  • As of Aug. 21, the state reported more than 2 million COVID-19 tests.
  • DPH is operating 184 testing sites, including mobile and pop-up locations.
  • The number of specimens collected at agency sites has now passed 833,000

Positivity rate

  • The positivity rates (seven-day moving average) for PCR testing has decreased from 12.2% on Aug. 7 to 10.3% on Aug., 14 to 9.4% on Aug. 21. Georgia has now moved from the “high” PCR positivity rate category to “moderate.”


  • Daily hospitalizations have decreased 10.5% since Aug. 14 and are down 24.75% since a daily high of 3,200 on July 30.

Areas of concern

Increasing outbreaks

There were 106 outbreaks from Aug. 6-12, They are occurring in settings where people are physically congregating and underscore the need for distancing and source control, according to the health agency. The outbreaks include:

  • Long-term care facilities: 28
  • Schools/school athletic teams: 26
  • Prisons/jails: 12
  • Offices/workplaces: 8
  • Churches: 7
  • Manufacturing facilities: 4
  • Day care centers: 3
  • Outbreaks were also documented in hospitals/outpatient facilities, hospitals and senior living facilities.

Emerging hotspots

  • The agency is seeing growth and/or high transmission in rural middle Georgia, east central Georgia, south Georgia and southwest Georgia. These increases are driven by ongoing community transmission as well as outbreaks.
  • A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates the state has seen a downward trajectory of cases for less than a week now.
  • Although Georgia case numbers are decreasing slowly, they are at a very high plateau (magnitudes above where we were in the spring), so this still represents a risk of future increased transmission and even spikes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report