ATLANTA - More than 24,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Georgia on Thursday shattering the record set just a day prior as the omicron variant continues to surge, according to data provided by the Georgia Department of Public Health. This number is the combined positive results from PCR and antigen tests.
In the last seven days, more than 92,000 new cases have been confirmed by the state. That is equivalent to the total number of cases confirmed in the previous 57 days, according to the GDPH data.
Also Thursday, the total number of positive cases since the start of the pandemic has climbed to more than 1.8 million, or about one in ten Georgians.
For PCR tests along, Thursday’s positivity rate was over 31% and now has a seven-day average of nearly 24%, GDPH data shows.
In a unique joint statement on Wednesday evening, metro Atlanta's six major health care systems addressed the surge saying Georgia is "experiencing a staggering surge in adults and children with COVID-19 symptoms and diagnoses." They are asking people to not go to the emergency rooms for testing unless they feel they need further treatment due to the severity of their symptoms.
To find the locations and times as well as to schedule an appointment for a routine COVID-19 test, visit the Georgia Department of Public Health) website at dph.georgia.gov/covidtesting.
The number of deaths has also increased by about 17% over the last week and about 29% over the previous month, the GDPH reported.
Hospitalizations are also up 52% over last week and 67% from a month ago, the GDPH data shows. This is the sixth day in a row current hospitalizations have grown by triple digits.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory Healthcare, Grady Health System, Northeast Georgia Health System, Piedmont Healthcare, and Wellstar Health System also said they are working to try to ensure the healthcare system in Atlanta doesn’t become taxed too quickly.
"Collectively, the health care systems have experienced 100 to 200 percent increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past eight days and the vast majority of inpatients are unvaccinated," the statement reads in part. "This comes at a time when the health systems are preparing for an influx of patients with seasonal flu."
The first thing the hospitals called for help from the public in mitigating this latest surge was for all Georgians to get vaccinated, but the recent spike has done little to sway people to get the shots, according to GDPH data. New vaccinations administered have seen a less than 2% growth in the last week and fully vaccinated individuals have had less than 1% growth. In the last month, there has only been a 3.6% growth in the number of those fully vaccinated. Georgia remains the 6th lowest state for fully vaccinated individuals with just over 54% of those eligible having been fully vaccinated.
To find a COVID-19 vaccination location, visit dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine.