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New COVID-19 cases spike in Georgia and Augusta



AUGUSTA, Ga. – New COVID-19 infections in Georgia spiked to a level not seen in nearly two months on Friday as Augusta continued to see a surge in new cases.

Georgia added 1,273 new cases, the highest level since March 5, to reach 873,669 with 33 new deaths for 17,337, the Department of Public Health reported.

Richmond County saw 32 new cases for 19,706 and has added 112 new infections since Monday, according to an analysis by the Augusta Chronicle. Other area counties had seven new cases or fewer: seven in Columbia for 10,969, two in Burke for 1,768, three in McDuffie for 1,658, one in Jenkins for 725 and two in Warren for 375. All other area counties were unchanged: Jefferson at 1,576, Screven at 809, Wilkes at 669, Lincoln at 508, Glascock at 144 and Taliaferro at 100.

Richmond County suffered a new death for 406 total and Wilkes County lost a patient for 21, raising the area’s toll to 1,033.

Georgia Public Health got the results of 24,550 tests, of which 5.18% were positive, nearly half the overall rate of 10.04%, which fell slightly, Chronicle analysis found. The seven-day average went up from 938.43 to 955.86, according to the analysis.

Georgia had given 5,685,404 of the 6,681,745 doses it had received as of Friday, or 85.09%, Chronicle analysis found. The state was averaging 50,968 shots a day through Friday, according to the analysis.

University Hospital was up to 21 COVID-19 inpatients Friday, one more than Thursday, after discharging four and admitting five, spokeswoman Rebecca Sylvester said.

AU Health System saw a big drop to 14 patients in the hospital, six fewer than Thursday, and added 28 positive tests for 26,522 since the pandemic began, spokeswoman Christen Engel said.

Doctors Hospital of Augusta was up one to 15 and had three more cases for 800 total, spokesman Kaden Jacobs said.

Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta saw two more cases for 1,862 total, with 23 active cases among veterans, and remained at 91 deaths, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Augusta VA has fully vaccinated 16,666 among veterans, employees and federal personnel.

South Carolina added 651 new cases to reach 478,046 with 12 new deaths for 8,278, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported.

Aiken County saw 12 new cases for 12,718 and Edgefield County had seven more for 2,548. Neither county had a new death so they remained at 176 and 29 respectively.

The state got the results of 26,123 tests, of which 2.49% were positive, less than half the overall rate of 6.59, which dropped slightly, Chronicle analysis found. The seven-day average went up from 434 to 526.86, the analysis showed.