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Georgia sees sustained high of COVID-19 cases but deaths lower



AUGUSTA, Ga. – Georgia saw a sustained elevation of COVID-19 cases on Wednesday but deaths remained lower, including two in Augusta.

Georgia added 1,081 new cases, nearly matching the day before, to reach 864,895 with 39 new deaths for 17,072, the Department of Public Health reported. Richmond County saw 20 more cases for 19,849 and was the only county outside Aiken to show a double-digit increase. Other area counties saw increases of eight or fewer: eight in Columbia for 10,867, two in Burke for 1,742, one in Jefferson for 1,569 and one in Warren for 370. All other area counties were unchanged: McDuffie at 1,635, Screven at 808, Jenkins at 722, Wilkes at 668, Lincoln at 506, Glascock at 144 and Taliaferro at 100.

Richmond County suffered two new deaths for 399 total, raising the area’s toll to 1,024.

Georgia Public Health got the results of 18,399 tests, of which 5.87% were positive, well below the overall rate of 10.13%, which fell slightly, according to an analysis by the Augusta Chronicle, The seven-day average for new cases rose, however, from 929.57 to 946.71, the analysis showed.

Georgia had administered 4,948,242 of the 5,925,775 doses it had received as of Wednesday, or 83.5%, Chronicle analysis found. The state was averaging 48,911 shots a day through Wednesday, according to the analysis.

University Hospital was down to 17 COVID-19 inpatients on Wednesday after discharging one patient, spokeswoman Rebecca Sylvester said.

Doctors Hospital was down four to 11 patients in the hospital and remained at 787 total cases, spokesman Kaden Jacobs said.

AU Health System was also down one to 13 patients in the hospital but saw 42 new positive tests for 26,322 since the pandemic began, spokeswoman Christen Engel said.

Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta saw two more cases to 1,843 total, with 18 active cases among 15 veterans and three employees, and remained at 89 deaths, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Augusta VA has fully vaccinated 16,054 people between 14,244 veterans, 1,809 employees and one person at Fort Gordon.

South Carolina added 476 cases to reach 472,786 with 15 new deaths for 8,192, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported. Aiken County had 14 more for 12,633 and stayed at 175 deaths while Edgefield County was unchanged at 2,519 cases and 28 deaths.

The state got the results of 14,216 tests, of which 3.35% were positive, nearly half the overall rate of .6.7%, which was unchanged, Chronicle analysis found. The seven-day average for new cases dropped from 482 to 474, according to the analysis.