Ga. sees most new COVID cases in a day since start of pandemic

Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 4:42 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - COVID-19′s omicron wave is rapidly pushing up the number of patients in Georgia hospitals who are infected with coronavirus.

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 13,670 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state on Tuesday. That’s the highest daily total reported since the pandemic began. The previous high was reported nearly a year ago on Jan. 8, with 12,804 cases.

A total of 1,370,825 COVID cases have been reported in Georgia. More than 26,000 COVID-related deaths have been reported in the state as well.

The number of patients hospitalized statewide with the virus has climbed by more than 50% in a week, rising above 2,200 Tuesday.

The state Department of Public Health says the seven-day average of COVID-19 cases in Georgia has risen to nearly 8,700 a day.

That’s nearing the peaks in Georgia infection numbers in early January, late August and early September. But hospitalizations remain lower than then, possibly because the omicron variant may be milder than its predecessors.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the Augusta area had a total of 118 COVID inpatients Tuesday. That was up from 93 Monday and 67 a week earlier, but far below the delta variant peak of 398 on Sept. 7.

One spot in Richmond County that’s seeing an outbreak is the Charles B. Webster Detention Center.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that 54 Inmates have tested positive with minor symptoms. There were four medical employees with mild symptoms and two COVID-positive deputies as well as two who were to be tested for COVID symptoms.

The Atlanta area is the part of Georgia seeing the most infections and hospitalizations in the state.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fulton and DeKalb counties remain areas of high transmission for the COVID-19 virus.

In Fulton County alone, the seven-day average of COVID-19 cases has surged to 1,430 from the previous seven-day average of 407—the highest rate of change since the beginning of the pandemic.

Amid the spike in the Atlanta area:

  • Emory University announced it is switching to virtual classes to start the spring semester, transitioning back to in-person learning on Jan. 31 if conditions permit. Dorms will remain open, though students are encouraged to delay their return to campus.
  • Atlanta’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration, the Peach Drop, has been canceled. About 60,000 people were expected to attend the event hosted by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and featuring Goodie Mob and Grammy-winning artist Ashanti.

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