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Georgia, South Carolina pandemic deaths drop off dramatically



AUGUSTA, Ga. – Both Georgia and South Carolina had COVID-19 levels Tuesday the states have not seen since early October and both had a handful of new deaths, including one in the Augusta area, for the second straight day.

Georgia added 1,037 new cases to reach 830,114 with seven new deaths for 15,647, the Department of Public Health reported.

Richmond County had 13 new cases for 18,879 and was the only Augusta-area county to see a double-digit increase. Other counties saw seven or fewer new cases: seven in Columbia for 10,622, three in Burke for 1,689, two in Wilkes for 657, and two in Lincoln for 492. All other counties were unchanged: McDuffie at 1,587, Jefferson at 1,545, Screven at 790, Jenkins at 703, Warren at 362, Glascock at 139 and Taliaferro at 96.

Richmond County suffered a new death for 364 total, raising the area’s toll to 955.

Georgia Public Health got the results of 18,769 tests, of which 5.53% were positive, about half the overall rate of 10.54%, which dropped slightly, according to an analysis by the Augusta Chronicle. The seven-day average for new cases hit its lowest rate since Oct. 13, dropping from 1,483.43 to 1,233.14, the analysis found.

Georgia had given 2,407,851 of the 3,239,945 doses it had received as of Tuesday, or 74.32%. The state was averaging 39,178 shots through Tuesday.

University Hospital is seeing a steady decline from 28 COVID-19 inpatients on Monday to 21 on Tuesday, the lowest it has seen since Oct. 15, spokeswoman Rebecca Sylvester said.

AU Health System remained at nine patients being treated in the hospital, unchanged from Monday, and had three more positive tests for 25,643 since the pandemic began, spokeswoman Christen Engel said.

Doctors Hospital of Augusta saw another bump up to 18 patients in the hospital, one more than Monday, and had two more cases for 754 total, spokesman Kaden Jacobs said.

Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta saw one new case for 1,764 total, with 37 active cases among 35 veterans and two staff, with one new death for 85, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Augusta VA has vaccinated 11,399 veterans, including 6,740 who have received both doses.

South Carolina had 448 new cases, its lowest amount since Oct. 1, to reach 451,026 with three new deaths for 7,751, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported.

Aiken County had 11 new cases for 12,296 and Edgefield County had two more for 2,426. Neither county had a new death and they remained at 171 and 26 respectively.

The state got the results of 15,857 tests, of which 2.83% were positive, less than half the overall rate of 7.28%, which fell slightly, Chronicle analysis found. The seven-day average for new cases also fell from 722 to 694, according to the analysis.