AUGUSTA, Ga. – Even with COVID-19 infections remaining steady, new deaths shot up Wednesday in Georgia, including four in the Augusta area.
Georgia suffered 66 new deaths for a toll of 16,827 while adding 961 new cases, nearly identical to Tuesday, to reach 858,268, the Department of Public Health reported.
Richmond County saw 18 new cases for 19,326 total and was the only area county with a double-digit increase. Other area counties saw eight new cases or fewer: eight in Columbia for 10,815, one in McDuffie for 1,625, one in Screven for 806, one in Jenkins for 717, one in Lincoln for 505, and one in Glascock for 144. All other counties were unchanged: Burke at 1,729, Jefferson at 1,557, Wilkes at 667, Warren at 367 and Taliaferro at 100.
Richmond County suffered a new death for 392 total, Columbia County lost a patient for 159, Screven County saw a new death for 21, and Wilkes County lost a patient for 20, raising the area’s toll to 1,012.
Georgia Public Health got the results of 21,361 tests, of which 4.5% were positive, less than half the overall positive rate of 10.19%, which fell a bit, according to an analysis by the Augusta Chronicle. The seven-day average for new cases also dropped from 857.29 to 839, the analysis showed.
Georgia had administered 4,351,344 of the 5,440,775 doses it had been shipped as of Wednesday, or 80%, Chronicle analysis found. The state was averaging 46,793 shots a day through Wednesday, according to the analysis.
University Hospital had 15 COVID-19 inpatients on Wednesday, one fewer than Tuesday, after discharging two patients and admitting one, said spokeswoman Rebecca Sylvester.
AU Health System also dropped one to eight patients in the hospital and added 18 new positive tests for 26,167 since the pandemic began, spokeswoman Christen Engel said.
Doctors Hospital of Augusta was unchanged with nine patients in the hospital and 780 cases overall, spokesman Kaden Jacobs said.
Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta was also unchanged at 1,821 cases total, with 11 active cases among 10 veterans and an employee, with 86 deaths, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Augusta VA has fully vaccinated 15,323 people between 13,549 veterans and 1,774 employees.
South Carolina added 414 new cases to reach 468,939 with six new deaths for 8,118, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported.
Aiken County saw eight more cases for 12,542 and Edgefield County had three more for 2,505. Neither county had a new death so they remained at 174 and 28 respectively.
The state got the results of 10,216 tests, of which 4.05% were positive, well below the overall positive rate of 6.78%, which dropped slightly, Chronicle analysis found. The seven-day average for new cases fell from 483 to 470, according to the analysis.