Health department explains daily virus updates


An explanation of state information about coronavirus

  • An explanation of state information about coronavirus
    An explanation of state information about coronavirus

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Georgia is growing every day.

The Georgia Department of Public Health updates the number of confirmed cases twice a day as test results come in from state private laboratories.

The updates can be found at

The latest update, posted at noon today, shows 772 total cases in Georgia with 25 deaths.

Those confirmed cases have come from a total of 5,069 tests, most of which have come from commercial labs.

“Any licensed health care provider who has the capability to collect specimens, using the proper supplies and follows the guidelines for collection for testing may do so,” Dave Palmer of District 2 Public Health said in an email “Laboratories that have been approved by CDC (Centers for Disease Control) can perform the tests on the specimens for COVID-19.”

Information from around the state is submitted to the state public health department and the statistics are compiled and posted on the department’s website, Palmer said.

The website also updates each day which counties have confirmed cases.

A total of 67 of Georgia’s 159 counties now have confirmed cases.

Fulton County has 145 of the 772 cases, with Cobb County (79) and Dekalb County (75), the other counties with the most cases.

Madison County’s first confirmed case was listed today at noon. It is the closest county to Franklin County with a confirmed case.

Cases are listed as being from the county where the patient lives, no matter where the patient may be treated.

“Hospitalized patients may be counted in their county of residence while receiving care in another county,” Palmer said.

The website also reports that 45 cases come from “unknown counties.”

Palmer said that is due to how long it takes to confirm the address of patients.

“If someone is listed as unknown, that person may have been tested in a county that is not their county of residence,” Palmer said. “If that county is in another health district, then there could be some lag time between confirming the county of residence. Here is an example: a person lives in Hart County (District 2) but is tested in Clarke County (District 10). The provider submits the results of the test to Department of Public Health state office. This information is then sent to the districts for verification of residence. Verification may not occur before the case is posted on the website resulting in an ‘unknown.’”

The state’s information shows that the victims of the virus are equally split between men and women.

Only one percent of confirmed cases are for children and teens up to age 17.

Those 60 or older make up 36 percent of patients.

Those ages 18-59 are 59 percent of cases.

The coronavirus has been most deadly to the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions or compromised immune systems.