The Newnan Times-Herald


COVID hospitalizations drop; testing continues to increase

  • By Sarah Fay Campbell
  • |
  • May. 19, 2020 - 5:16 PM

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Georgia’s number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 is at its lowest since hospitals started reporting data on April 8, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Tuesday afternoon.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 986 COVID-19- positive patients hospitalized in Georgia – a 12 percent decrease over the last week’s 1,125 patients. On May 1, there were 1,500 patients hospitalized with the illness.

"Our hospitalization numbers continue to show encouraging signs in our fight against COVID-19, but we must remain vigilant in our efforts to combat this virus," Kemp said. "I continue to ask Georgians to practice social distancing, follow the advice of public health officials, and protect the elderly and medically fragile."

The announcement of lower hospitalizations comes as Georgia has significantly ramped up testing for COVID-19.

As of Tuesday at 1 p.m., there had been 378,156 COVID-19 tests performed in Georgia – up from 301,874 tests on Friday and approximately 217,000 on May 7. The May 7 total was over 110,000 tests higher than two weeks earlier.

The total number of positive cases as of Tuesday at 1 p.m. was 38,721, with 1,664 deaths.

Georgia now ranks 21st out of 54 states and territories on the number of tests per capita, up from 46th a month ago, Kemp said in a release Monday. Among states with populations of over 5 million, Georgia ranks eighth out of 23 in testing.

On Monday, the state had tested 3.3 percent of the population.

“Our focus on increased testing is yielding strong results as the Georgia National Guard, Georgia Department of Public Health, and various public and private -sector partners continue to work non-stop to improve access to COVID-19 testing for Georgians," Kemp said. "We are working tirelessly to move the needle on testing as we take measured steps to safely reopen the Peach State."

All Georgians are eligible for testing, whether or not they have symptoms. Free tests are offered through the Georgia Department of Public Health, and most medical providers can also offer testing.

For public health testing in Coweta, call District 4 Public Health at 800-847-4262.