Georgia COVID-19 numbers delayed Monday by technical problems

·2 min read

Jan. 3—The Georgia Department of Public Health did not release new COVID-19 data Monday, citing technical problems. The problem is expected to be fixed and an update issued at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Cobb County had surpassed 100,000 cumulative cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Both Cobb and Georgia broke records for single-day case counts last week.

As of Monday, Georgia had 3,635 people hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. At the start of December, there were less than 1,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. While the number of patients has more than tripled over the past month, it has not yet reached the previous record, set in September, when about 6,200 Georgians were hospitalized with the virus.

Deaths in Cobb have increased slightly to an average of 1.4 per day as of Friday, up from 0.6 per day in early December. During surges in deaths, the county has seen 5 or 6 deaths per day, usually a couple of weeks after cases spike.

Amid an unprecedented spike in cases, public health experts have said the omicron variant may cause less severe illness, while warning that the sheer volume of cases may make this spike as deadly as previous ones.

"We first got inkling of that in South Africa. When one looked at the relationship and the ratio between hospitalizations and cases, it was lower, the duration of hospital stay was lower, the requirements for oxygen was lower," Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC News on Sunday.

The increase in U.S. hospitalizations has not been as dramatic as the increase in cases, Fauci said. But that could change, since hospitalizations lag slightly behind case numbers.

"We have got to be careful about that, because, even if you have a less of a percentage of severity, when you have multi-multi-multi-fold more people getting infected, the net amount is you're still going to get a lot of people that are going to be needing hospitalization," Fauci said. "And that's the reason why we're concerned about stressing and straining the hospital system."