Virus update

Barrow County now has 19 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, and there are now 4,117 cases statewide, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health's latest online update issued just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 31.

The number of confirmed Barrow County cases has more than doubled and the statewide total has increased by almost 1,100 over the last 24 hours. Twenty-three more deaths have also been reported over the last 24 hours, bringing the statewide death toll to 125. Another update is scheduled for noon Wednesday, April 1. 

"Today’s significant increase in cases is in part due to additional laboratories reporting to DPH, and also improvements in electronic reporting from other laboratories," the department said in its report.

Officials have said the actual number of cases is likely far greater due to the lack of readily-available testing for everyone.

Two people listed from Barrow County by the DPH have died from COVID-19 — a 66-year-old male and a 91-year-old male, both with underlying medical conditions. While most people who contract the virus experience only mild symptoms and are able to recover at home in isolation, the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions are considered the most at risk. Still, medical professionals around the world have reported harsher effects in younger populations as well. 

The DPH has not released any additional information about the Barrow cases and whether they are linked.

According to the latest data from the DPH's online county-by-county tracker, there have been 885 hospitalizations (21.5 percent of cases) in the state. More than 16,100 tests have been administered with 25.4 percent of people testing positive. 

Fulton County still has the most confirmed cases with 599 and 18 deaths. Dougherty County has 466 cases and 26 deaths. DeKalb County has 360 cases and four deaths. Cobb County has 287 cases and 13 deaths, and Gwinnett County has 242 cases and two deaths.

Also around Barrow County, Hall County has 67 confirmed cases, Clarke County has 51 cases and five deaths, Oconee County has 16 cases, Walton County has nine cases, Jackson County has eight cases, Madison County has three cases and one death, and Banks County has three cases.

The DPH lists 183 cases and one death with an unknown county of residence.

Nationwide, there were over 188,000 confirmed cases and more than 3,800 reported deaths as of 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine online tracker. 

Anyone who believes they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or believes they may have been exposed to the virus is advised to contact their primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic. Do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or any medical facility.

A statewide COVID-19 hotline is available at 844-442-2681.

Continue to check for the latest local and statewide updates. 

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