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Answering COVID-19 questions about hospitalization rates and ICU admissions

From hospitalization rates to ICU admissions, a closer look at COVID-19 data based on your questions.

ATLANTA — As the number of COVID-19 cases rise in Georgia, so do the questions. 

One viewer emailed us to ask, “If [the] hospitalization rate is stable that would be a good thing right? Curious what the hospitalization percentage rate was back in April and what it is now in Georgia?”

We crunched the numbers and found at the beginning of the pandemic’s reach into Georgia, about 30 percent of those testing positive needed hospital treatment. 

But context is key. 

In March and April, only the sickest people were allowed to get the test and the virus was spreading rapidly through our nursing homes. 

Now that testing has expanded, we’re identifying people who are asymptomatic and the largest share of new cases is coming from younger, generally healthier age groups. 

Credit: WXIA

So, our hospitalization rate is definitely down, 12.2 percent to be exact, but there are several reasons for it. 

RELATED: New record for hospitalizations on the same day Georgia crosses 100,000 coronavirus cases

Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease expert at Emory University says, the hope is that people who are sick stay isolated – so we can keep it that way. 

“For my teenage son and his friends and people in their early 20s. Sure, they might be a less risk of having serious complications, but their actions have a specific impact on the risk of other people in the state of Georgia developing COVID-19 and developing complications that include death. That has to be the take away until we actually take this seriously.”

Another viewer asked, “What percentage of ICU patients have COVID-19?” 

RELATED: As Georgia COVID-19 cases surge, fewer ICU beds available

The Department of Public Health tells us how many people have tested positive while at the hospital and how many with COVID-19 have spent time in the ICU. Do the math, and you get 20-percent. 

Georgia Emergency Management adds more insight, telling us how many people each day are receiving medical care for COVID. On Wednesday, that number jumped up another 119 cases.  Again, not everyone at the hospital is in the ICU, but with 2215 active hospital patients there’s still a lot of people being seriously impacted by this virus.

11Alive is "Where Atlanta Speaks!" Do you have questions for us? Email 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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