MACON, Ga. — After a surge in COVID-19 cases over the holidays, there are some signs that Georgia could start to see cases drop again in the next few weeks.
Right before the state's two-week preliminary data window, Georgia averaged about 20,600 new cases a day. That's more than double the latest peak in late August at just shy of 10,000 new cases a day and nearly double last January's peak of more than 11,000.
However, looking into the preliminary window, the average starts to drop right at the start of the window around Jan. 3. The state is still counting test results from this time frame, so these tallies typically increase some as the state factors in more tests.
In the past when cases dropped throughout the entire preliminary window, that signaled that cases were either starting to drop or at least level off. It will take at least a week to see if that could be happening now.
It's a similar story in Bibb County. Right before the preliminary window, Bibb averaged almost 330 new cases a day; compared to the high of 208 during the surge last August.
Houston County, on the other hand, does show cases increasing within the preliminary window. Right before that time frame, Houston averaged 309 new cases a day, but that rises to close to 340 less than a week later.
Meanwhile, the hospitalization rate has been a little sporadic the past few weeks. Right now, the state averages 287 new patients a day. Since the end of December, the average has hovered around 300. At the beginning of December, the state averaged fewer than 100 new patients a day.
Georgia is starting to see an uptick in deaths from the virus. Right before the preliminary window, an average of 13 Georgians died a day. It's only a slight increase from the end of December when the average was 12 deaths a day. The death rate is still much lower than in past surges.