Coronavirus

Gwinnett County Now Has Highest Number Of COVID-19 Cases In Georgia

People are shown being tested for COVID-19 at a drive-thru site in Virginia. Locally, Gwinnett County health officials say they have been doing a lot more testing, which has caught more cases of COVID-19.
People are shown being tested for COVID-19 at a drive-thru site in Virginia. Locally, Gwinnett County health officials say they have been doing a lot more testing, which has caught more cases of COVID-19.
Credit Jacquelyn Martin

As of Wednesday, Gwinnett County had 5,658 cases of COVID-19, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

That’s the highest per county total in the state, and data shows Gwinnett has not yet reached its peak in daily COVID-19 cases.

Georgia’s overall coronavirus case numbers have gone up in recent weeks, but some large metro Atlanta counties, including DeKalb and Fulton, have been showing a slow downward trend since mid-May.

Gwinnett County health officials say they have been doing a lot more testing, which has caught more cases.

“The increase in positivity right now that we’re seeing is concerning. However, we realized that there are certain portions of our county that are more densely populated, and that’s where we are seeing more positivity cases,” said Dr. Audrey Arona, CEO and district health director for Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale health departments.

Those densely populated areas include the cities of Lilburn and Norcross, which have large immigrant populations and more multigenerational households, she said.

The county is revving up an information campaign to those communities through churches and businesses.

“We have got multiple language outreach that we tried to do with our population the best we can, so we’re focusing on that area right now because of the positivity rates,” Arona said.

Despite the uptick in cases, most of the COVID-19 cases in the county are mild, according to Arona.

“The good news is that our median age is decreasing. And remember that 85% of people will get mild diseases, and I think that’s what we’re seeing, and our hospital rate is decreasing,” she said.

The median age of people with COVID-19 in Gwinnett has dropped from the high 50s to 43 years old, and the rate of hospitalization dropped from 20% in April to 15%.

WABE brings you the local stories and national news that you value and trust. Please make a gift today.Donate Now