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Context on the numbers: What hospitalization numbers reveal about COVID-19 spread in Georgia

Kemp said that Saturday marked the lowest number of COVID-19 positive patients currently hospitalized statewide since the data started being reported April 8.

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp posted a tweet Saturday morning touting lower COVID-19 hospitalization rates across the state of Georgia.

"Today marks the lowest number of COVID-19 positive patients currently hospitalized statewide (1,203) since hospitals began reporting this data on April 8th," Kemp tweeted. "Today also marks the lowest total of ventilators in use (897 with 1,945 available)." 

Our numbers team dug into the information Gov. Kemp tweeted out on Saturday morning -- and here's what we found.

Gov. Kemp announced the number of hospitalizations right now statewide 1,203. 

Those numbers only started being released to the public nine days ago on May 1. That day, current hospitalizations were listed at 1,500 patients.  That means over the past week and a half, the number of COVID patients with conditions requiring hospitalization dropped by nearly 20 percent.

As far as ventilators are concerned, the Department of Public Health only released that information publicly one time since the pandemic began.  So we can only compare today's information from the governor to what they provided on April 14.  

On that date, the state reported 1,007 ventilators in use out of 2,780 available. Three weeks ago, 36 percent of the ventilators in Georgia were in use.

Right now, the governor is reporting 897 ventilators in use out of 1,945 available. 

That means 46 percent of those life-saving breathing machines are now in operation.  There are few people needing ventilators, but there are also significantly fewer now on hand.

We'll work to get answers as to why the state has significantly fewer ventilators available now. 

We also have requested more information from the Georgia Department of Public Health about hospitalizations and the availability and usage of the machines throughout the crisis, but have yet to receive a response. 

The state of Georgia began to reopen some businesses on April 24, while others began to reopen on April 27.

Kemp has said the public health state of emergency in the state and the shelter in place for the elderly and medically-fragile remains in effect through June 12.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus.  We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information. 

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information. 

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