ATLANTA — 11Alive viewers said they saw a tweet from Gov. Brian Kemp's communications director claiming hospitalizations and ICUs are seeing a decline in the number of COVID-19 patients.
So, we decided to take a look at the data. Here's what we were able to verify about each point.
Is the number of COVID hospitalizations declining?
Yes, in the last week alone, we can verify that COVID-19 patient numbers are starting to trend down.
WHAT WE FOUND
According to the DPH, Georgia set a new record on September 9, treating more than 6,000 people sick with COVID.
On September 20, there are fewer than 5,000 COVID patients in Georgia hospitals, a decrease of more than 20%.
Is the number of people in ICU beds dropping?
Yes, it's true that the number has slightly dropped. However, ICU capacity hasn't bounced back yet from the surge.
WHAT WE FOUND
Statewide, about 90% of intensive care unit beds are in use. It's true that the number is down from 96% a few weeks ago, but we can verify the ICU capacity has yet to rebound from the current surge.
Also, while it looks like we've seen peaks for cases and hospitalizations, the number of deaths is still rising.
So far, we've lost more than 21,000 people to the virus since the pandemic began. Our worst day for COVID deaths was back in February when we were averaging around 120 each day.
Right now, Georgia is averaging around 130 deaths and that number is still rising.
So, while our hospitalization numbers are on a downward trend, we can verify that COVID-related deaths remain near record highs.