Cases of COVID-19 look to be plateauing in Georgia but deaths are still on the rise

ATLANTA — Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Justin Gray obtained an internal state analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic from a state government source that shows a dramatic change in direction with the delta wave.

The numbers in Georgia finally look to be heading in the right direction. The 14-day case rate is down 22% in the past seven days.

Hospitalizations, cases in children, and outbreaks have all dropped more than 30% in just a week.

“We’re very much encouraged by the decrease in numbers because now we feel like we can begin to see the end,” said Augusta University Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Phillip Coule.

When we last talked to Coule, two weeks ago, he predicted cases were plateauing in Georgia. Now he says this new data from the state backs that up, with one tragic exception.

Deaths in Georgia due to COVID-19 are still on the rise. Up 51% over the last two weeks, 10% over the past week.

These deaths are likely tied to cases of COVID-19 first diagnosed several weeks ago.

“Unfortunately, we kind of know the time course of this disease, so that’s not unexpected. These are from cases that occurred in some cases weeks prior and unfortunately, the person has finally succumbed to the disease,” Coule said.

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The internal state analysis also says that “nearly all deaths and hospitalizations” have occurred among the unvaccinated.

Only 1% of vaccinated Georgians have tested positive for COVID, compared to more than 12% of the state’s unvaccinated population.

Unvaccinated Georgians are 20 times more likely than vaccinated Georgians to be hospitalized or die from COVID, according to the state government analysis.