Update on COVID-19 Trends in Georgia Provided by DPH


A press release out of Atlanta from the Georgia Department of Public Health was released this past week. The press release shares maps, graphs and tables depicting statistics and numbers regarding the fight against COVID-19 in the state.

“The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is providing the following information regarding the fight against COVID-19 in Georgia:

COVID-19 Cases*

  • From 9/14 to 9/21, the seven-day average of new cases reported remained flat.
  • The seven-day average of new cases reported is down 53.6% from our peak July 24.

See Map at Right.

*See note below regarding onboarding of labs into ELR


  • As of Sept. 21, the state reported more than 2.7 million COVID-19 tests.
  • The number of specimens collected at DPH SPOCs has topped 1 million (1,012,393).
  • DPH is operating 180+ SPOCs, including mobile and pop-up locations statewide.

Positivity Rate

The statewide positivity rate (7-day moving average) for PCR testing has increased from 8.1% on 9/7/20 and 7.7% on 9/14/20 to 10.3% on 9/21/20.

Note: The Georgia Department of Public Health is in the process of onboarding many new facilities to our Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) system. This will allow more timely and efficient reporting of COVID-19 test results, including negative and positive results, which will also improve the quality of data reporting on the Daily Status Report.

During the onboarding process, there may be days where the number of daily positive tests and positivity rates will be artificially inflated. This is due to a backlog of tests now being reported through ELR all at once, the majority of results previously reported by the provider or laboratory through other means.

DPH’s data quality team reviews cases and positive test results daily to ensure there is no duplication in reporting, however, the process takes longer when we receive a large number of positive test results at one time – which are in addition to the regularly reported daily number of positive test results we receive from facilities statewide. 

The most recent example of this was reflected in counties in NE Georgia. This will also happen in other areas of the state as more facilities are added to ELR. To help clarify the numbers, we have added a feature to the Daily Status Report that indicates the date of specimen collection. If there are large numbers of positive tests on a given day, the graph showing the date of specimen collection can be used to identify when testing actually occurred. Cases can be shown by symptom onset date for additional clarification.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 are specific to individuals. People with a positive test often get retested and may test positive multiple times. These repeat positive tests will be counted as new positive tests, but they will not be reported as new cases.


Daily hospitalizations for COVID-19 have decreased from 1,533 on Sept. 14 to 1,415 on Sept. 21, or a decrease of 7.7% in the past week. Hospitalizations have decreased 55.7% since a daily high reported July 30 of 3,200.

Emergency Department Visits

Emergency Department (ED) visits related to COVID-19 and ILI (influenza-like illness) have remained flat over the two week period Sept. 5-18.


Sept. 13-19: 96     (Sept. 6-12: 93)

These outbreaks are occurring in settings where people are physically congregating and underscore the need for physical distancing and source control. The highest number of outbreaks occurred in schools, long-term care facilities, correctional facilities and workplaces.”

See Maps, graphs, and table below. 

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.

For information about COVID-19, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

See Maps, chart and graph below.