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Georgia COVID-19 cases rise as deaths remain high, with five in Aiken-Augusta



AUGUSTA, Ga. – New cases of COVID-19 crept up Thursday in Georgia and new deaths remained near 60, with five in the Aiken-Augusta area. All three Augusta hospitals saw a small rise in new patients as well.

Georgia suffered 59 more deaths for a toll of 16,886 and had 1,120 new cases, the first time above 1,000 in nearly a week, to reach 859,388, the Department of Public Health reported.

Richmond County saw 25 new cases and, with Aiken County, were the only ones to see more than 10. All other area counties saw three or fewer: three in Columbia for 10,818, one in McDuffie for 1,626, one in Jefferson for 1,558, one in Screven for 808, one in Jenkins for 718, and one in Taliaferro for 101. All other counties were unchanged: Burke at 1,729, Wilkes at 667, Lincoln at 505, Warren at 367, and Glascock at 144.

Richmond County suffered three new deaths for 395 total, Burke County lost a patient for 36 and Jefferson County saw a new death for 59, with a death in Aiken, raising the area’s toll to 1,017.

Georgia Public Health got the results of 21,195 tests, of which 5.28% were positive, about half the overall positive rate of 10.18%, which fell slightly, according to an analysis by the Augusta Chronicle. The seven-day average for new cases rose, however, from 839 to 873.57, the analysis showed.

Georgia had given 4,466,497 of the 5,440,775 doses it had received through Thursday or 82% of the doses it has received, Chronicle analysis found. The state was averaging 47,367 shots a day through Thursday, according to the analysis.

University Hospital was back up to 17 COVID-19 inpatients, two more than Wednesday, after discharging four patients but admitting six, spokeswoman Rebecca Sylvester said.

AU Health System also saw two more to 10 in the hospital and added 30 positive tests to reach 12,197 since the pandemic began, spokeswoman Christen Engel said.

Doctors Hospital likewise added two to 11 being treated in the hospital and saw one more case for 781 total, spokesman Kaden Jacobs said.

Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta had one new case for 1,822 total, with 10 active cases among nine veterans and one employee, and remained at 86 deaths, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Augusta VA has fully vaccinated 15,437 between 13,660 veterans and 1,777 employees.

South Carolina added 528 cases to reach 469,467 with 20 new deaths for 8,138, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported. Aiken County saw 11 new cases for 12,553 with one new death for 175 total and Edgefield County had six more for 2,511 and remained at 28 deaths.

The state got the results of 19,059 tests, of which 2.77% were positive, less than half the overall positive rate of 6.77%, which dropped slightly, Chronicle analysis found. The seven-day average for new cases also fell from 470 yo 450, according to the analysis.