Georgia breaks record for number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19

ATLANTA — Georgia currently has the highest number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

The Georgia Department of Health reported Thursday that 6,003 patients are hospitalized with the virus across the state.

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The previous high was 5,700 cases on Jan. 13.

Nearly 34% of patients who are hospitalized statewide are COVID-19 patients, but that number is much higher in some regions.

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In far southeast Georgia, nearly 60% of hospitalized patients are COVID-19 patients. In far north Georgia, 50% of patients in the hospital have the coronavirus. The innermost parts of metro Atlanta are the only areas of the state with less than 30% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

Just over 95% of intensive care unit beds in Georgia are occupied. Of Georgia’s 14 regions, the only region below 90% ICU capacity was the metro Atlanta region. Five regions were at capacity or over capacity.

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According to Wellstar Health System, which runs 12 hospital facilities in metro Atlanta, of the 734 patients they are treating, only 57 of them are vaccinated. Of the 163 patients in the ICU, 155 are unvaccinated. Of the 122 patients on ventilators, 116 are unvaccinated.

There were 126 new COVID-19 deaths reported across the state on Wednesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are advising people who are not vaccinated to not travel over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Dr. Felipe Lobelo with Kaiser Permanente Georgia said even vaccinated people need to be careful if they’ll be gathering with friends and family this weekend.

“Do you have small children that have not been vaccinated? Do you have immunocompromised family members? In general, we know gatherings outdoors are much better than indoors,” Lobelo said.

Lobelo said there are some signs cases are leveling out slightly, but a lot will depend on how people behave this weekend and what happens in schools. He’s encouraging people who have not been vaccinated to spend some time this weekend getting their shots.

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