Hospitals in the Jackson County area are treating a rise in COVID cases, according to data released this week.
Northeast Georgia Health System, based in Gainesville, is treating more positive COVID-19 patients now than it did during a peak earlier this year.
As of July 28, NGHS had 173 positive COVID-19 patients, 42 of whom are at Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton.
Those totals are higher than the previous peak day on April 29, when the hospital system had 159 positive patients (28 at NGMC Braselton).
NGHS has seen a steady climb over the past few weeks. Throughout the month of June, the total number of COVID patients mostly hovered in the 60-70 range. But the numbers started to climb in mid-July.
Athens area hospitals also reported a rise in COVID patients this week. A July 27 statement from local political leaders said both Piedmont Athens Regional and St. Mary's Hospital are seeing their patient count's go up.
"We are seeing continued increases in the number of positive COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations in our area," the statement said. "As we heard in our last update, we’re seeing more community-spread related hospitalizations - whereas a few weeks ago, we were seeing more nursing home related hospitalizations. The age of in-house patients has decreased, as well."
Jackson County is seeing a rapid rise in its number of COVID cases this month as well.
The number of people who have tested positive more than doubled in July, from 341 at the start of the month to 793 as of July 27.
A total of 81 people from Jackson County have been hospitalized with the virus since the crisis began and 13 people have died.
One of the hotspots in Jackson County has been at Northridge Health and Rehabilitation in Commerce where 13 patients have died (some of those were not from Jackson County and were counted in their home communities.)
Across the state of Georgia, there have been 170,843 confirmed COVID cases, with 17,138 of those resulting in hospitalizations. There have been 3,509 deaths in the state as of July 27.