If you count positive COVID-19 results from antigen tests along with those from PCR reviews, something most states do on Saturdays, the rise in COVID infections in Georgia reached 6,300 a new one-day record.
Georgia does not currently calculate the results of two types of tests together. But overall it has alarmed experts.
It’s a big day, said Amber Schmidtke, a microbiologist tracking Georgia COVID cases in the Daily Digest. Georgia is approaching its previous peak at its 7-day infection level, she added.
The previous record for reported daily infections was Nov. 3, when 6,003 cases were reported, Schmidtke said. Georgia also registered 126 new hospitalizations at COVID Hospital on Saturday total, along with 38 confirmed deaths.
When cases increase, hospitalizations follow and deaths follow, Schmidtke noted.
The state Department of Public Health said on Twitter that Saturday antigen test results include what the agency called batch reporting from two major providers from the past 10-14 days and an overall increase in positive test results.
The rise of new infections is rocking the nation. The number of US coronavirus cases exceeded 12 million on Saturday, an increase of more than 1 million cases in less than a week. More than 255,000 Americans have died.
almost any state has reported huge increases in cases and numbers across the country have risen much faster than ever before with the country reporting a staggering 2.8 million infections since the beginning of the month, CNN reported.
On Friday, more than 195,500 new infections were reported to the highest places in a single day. The United States on Friday also recorded its highest number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals on a given day, at more than 82,100.
Worried about the holidays
In Georgia, total new positive readings from rapid antigen tests reported Saturday, 3,270, surpassed those from PCR tests, 3,053.
The state does not count the two together because Public Health officials do not consider positive results from rapid tests as confirmed. The COVID-19 state report still lists people tested positive for coronavirus through PCR tests separately from people tested positive for rapid antigen tests.
Other Southeast states add rapid test positives to their cumulative total. And the CDC is now including antigen cases in total Georgias, Schmidtke said.
Rapid tests are not considered as accurate as PCR tests. But because they are faster and less costly than PCR tests, antigen tests may be more practical to use for a large number of people, experts say. They are often used in universities, long-term care facilities and medical offices.
There is an added possibility of a false negative result with an antigen test, which means it is possible to become infected with the virus even though the test shows you are not. But a positive result in an antigen test that shows you are infected is considered accurate when the instructions are followed carefully,
Experts fear that COVID cases may continue to rise, with Thanksgiving holidays less than a week away and colder weather coming.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we are seeing the same increase that is happening in the rest of the country, although we are also seeing increased testing, probably in preparation for Thanksgiving,” said Drs. Harry Heiman, a public health expert at Georgia State University.
Saturday’s numbers reflect Georgia’s problem of not counting positive antigen tests with the total number of infections, he added.
So people continue to hold the false belief that this is not so bad in Georgia, despite the fact that the numbers are growing and 16 hospitals, including major medical centers in Atlanta and across the state, are in the diversion, will not says medical beds or critical care beds for young patients, Heiman said.
We are in a complete crisis, yet our state leadership is once again failing to act, he said. Now is the time for a nationwide masked mandate, now is the time to close bars and indoor dining, and now is the time to stop allowing indoor gatherings without masks.
Governor Brian Kemp has encouraged wearing masks in Georgia, but has not requested it.
USA Today reported this week that more than 30 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico now require everyone within their borders to wear face masks in public, according to a list maintained by the AARP.
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