COVID-19 cases rising nationwide, Georgia no exception

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — COVID-19 cases are increasing across the nation, and Georgia is no exception.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr took a look at the record-breaking increase in cases and how they are impacting the state.

Fulton County is reminding residents of the importance of getting tested, especially with all the crowds of people that have been seen during election week.

Personal trainer Travis Jeffers was at a Fulton County COVID-19 testing location when he told Channel 2 Action News why he chooses to get tested.

“I deal with 20 to 30 people on a regular basis,” Jeffers said. “Some people have a mask. Some people don’t.”

Like much of the country, Georgia is recording an increase in COVID-19 cases.  Even with testing down, data analyst Dr. Amber Schmidtke notes a seven-day case rate is only roughly 30% less than the state’s summer surge.

“Right now, we are seeing a slow increase in current hospitalizations, but it hasn’t tipped over into that sharp increase that we saw during the summer surge,” Schmidtke said.

Experts say those increases aren’t reflected in the data until weeks after case increases.

As for deaths, it can take anywhere from three to four weeks to get a true sense of how cases result in the worst-case scenario.

Hospitalization numbers take two weeks.

The data shows the pandemic is continuing nationwide.

“I think for some odd reason, we’re just getting numb to the statistics,” patient Darren Smith said. “But testing is vital.”

Antigen cases, those coming from rapid tests, are still not counted as confirmed cases.

Although the likelihood of a false positive is far less than a false negative, if you get the latter, you should follow up with a PCR test.

State health officials say that’s because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a confirmed case as a PCR lab-confirmed case.