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Georgia cases of COVID-19 dip but deaths near record-high



AUGUSTA, Ga.  -Georgia and South Carolina saw the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases since early November but Georgia had a near-record number of new deaths, including eight in Augusta.

Georgia added 1,840 new cases, its lowest three-day total since Nov. 8-10, to reach 794,349 but had 179 new deaths for a toll of 14,176, the Department of Public Health reported.

Richmond County had 14 new cases for 18,113 and Columbia County saw 11 more for 10,262.

All other counties had eight new cases or less:

  • three in Burke for 1625,
  • eight in McDuffie for 1,542,
  • one in Jefferson for 1,510,
  • one in Wilkes for 635,
  • three in Lincoln for 473, and
  • one in Warren for 352.

Unchanged were Screven County at 767, Jenkins County at 695, Glascock County at 137 and Taliaferro County at 93.

Richmond County suffered eight new deaths for 326 and Columbia County lost a patient for 139, raising the area’s toll to 861.

Georgia Public Health got the results of 25,027 tests, of which 7.35% were positive, well below the overall positive rate of 10.79%, which fell slightly, according to an analysis by The Augusta Chronicle. The seven-day average for new cases also fell for an eighth straight day, from 2,697.57 to 2,328.57, the analysis found.

Georgia has administered 1,445,835 doses of the 1,945,425 of COVID-19 vaccine it has received, or 74.23%, according to a Chronicle analysis of public health data.

University Hospital continues to see its COVID-19 inpatients dwindle to 64 on Tuesday, down four from Monday, after discharging 10 and admitting six, spokeswoman Rebecca Sylvester said.

AU Health was down to 46 inpatients, eight less than the day before, and added five new positive tests for 24,632 since the pandemic began, spokeswoman Christen Engel said.

Doctors Hospital of Augusta remained at 45 patients being treated in the hospital and added two new cases for 728 total, spokesman Kaden Jacobs said.

Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta added one new case for 1,631 total, with 88 active cases among 84 veterans and four staff, and remained at 79 deaths, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Augusta VA has vaccinated 6,362 veterans, including 3,724 who have received both doses.

South Carolina added 921 new cases, its first day below 1,000 since Nov. 9, to reach 428,684 with 16 new deaths for 7,196, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported.

Aiken County had 38 new cases for 11,669 and Edgefield County saw seven more for 2,263. Neither had a new death so they remained at 161 and 24 respectively.

The state got the results of 24,250 tests, of which 3.8% were positive, less than half of the overall positive rate of 7.71%, which dipped slightly, according to Chronicle analysis. The seven-day average went down from 1,670 to 1,554, the analysis found.