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Surge in testing, but still concerns about hospitalizations | Breaking down COVID-19 data

The number of new hospital patients reported each day appears to be trending upward.

ATLANTA — Update: The current hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Georgia have dipped below 1,000, for the first time since the state started providing the data back on May 1. Read that story here.

The charts being released by the Georgia Department of Public Health have some concerned especially one in particular.

It shows the number of new hospital patients reported each day -- and that line is trending up.

The DPH warns this data reflects the information as it is given to them, so some of these patients may have actually been admitted a few days ago. Still, it’s what medical professionals have warned about.

Dr. Amy Case, Pulmonary and Critical Care Specialist at Piedmont Healthcare says this is far from over.

"Continued vigilance about distancing as much as possible, masking in the community whenever it’s feasible and again, just understanding that this isn’t over yet. That this is I think the bottom of the second inning," she said.

As of May 19, there have been 7,027 total patients hospitalized in Georgia during the pandemic, according to the DPH's cumulative total. The chart below uses a 7-day average to show the moving trend of these numbers.

Credit: WXIA

That leaves a lot of innings still to go. The metro counties with the highest number of residents hospitalized this past week are Dekalb – with 86 new patients, Gwinnett with 82 and Fulton with 80.

What we find interesting here at 11Alive is that if you look at the numbers for new COVID-19 cases, we’re still fairly flat. But on May 11, we had a lot of new cases reported. It could be that those cases have just now progressed to a point where they need intense medical care.

As shown in the chart below, there have been 38,721 cases confirmed, as of May 19. The chart below uses a 7-day average to show the moving trend of these numbers.

Credit: WXIA

Even with those ‘new patients’ going for care, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) says the total number of patients in the hospital day by day is slowly, but steadily, decreasing -- until yesterday. 

We wish we could tell you how many people have officially ‘recovered’ from COVID-19, but no state agency has been able to track that information.  

DPH has come under fire for how they’ve presented the data on their website.

Last week one graph made it look like we were seeing dramatic drops in the most affected counties – when we had not. 

There have been mistakes in data entered and the way DPH chart cases – is confusing. 

At least two metro lawmakers have called them out on it, leading to tweets of apologies, written statements and change. 

We want you to know – it’s for all of these reasons that we analyze our own data – and build our own charts – to give you an independent view of what is happening. 

If you ever have questions about the numbers, don’t hesitate to email us at whereatlantaspeaks@11alive.com.

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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