Five months into the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and the number of confirmed cases of the disease continues to climb in Baldwin County and many surrounding counties in middle Georgia.

Figures released Thursday by the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) revealed almost 4,000 new cases within 24 hours across the Peach State.

In the North Central Health District, which includes Milledgeville and Baldwin County, as well as 12 other counties, there was a 20 percent district-wide increase in COVID-19 cases between July 19 and July 26, according to this week’s latest report.

Between July 6 and July 19, there was an incidence rate of 378 per 100,000 population, according to DPH data. That particular figure was a little below the previous 14-day period from June 29 through July 12, which showed an incidence rate of 390 per 100,000 population.

Statistical data shows what state health officials described as a “substantial spread” in COVID-19 cases from July 19 through July 26, from a district-wide standpoint.

Nine percent of emergency department visits at hospitals captured in syndromic surveillance for residents of Baldwin County were categorized as COVID-19 Syndrome between July 13 and July 26, state health officials said.

The incidence rate of COVID-19 cases in Baldwin County between July 6 and July 19 was 323 per 100,000 population. That figure showed an 8 percent decrease of confirmed cases locally from June 22 through July 5.

The number of residents within the health district and elsewhere across the state continues to show a sharp increase, too.

Health officials said a total of 2,436 specimens were collected between July 20 and July 26 within the 13-county North Central Health District.

It’s taking an average of 3.4 minutes per patient to get a specimen collection.

As of July 26, there had been a total of 1,638 specimens collected in Baldwin County, which revealed a 16-percent increase from the week of July 20 through July 26, according to state health officials.

From a health district-wide standpoint, a total of 18,503 residents were for COVID-19 as of July 26. That was a 33 percent increase from the previous week.

The district-wide positive rate, meanwhile, showed a 13-percent increase.

A breakdown of cases shows that since the pandemic began in mid-March, 58 percent of the patients who have needed hospitalization have been discharged.

Figures show that 11 percent of COVID-19 cases have involved health care workers.

A total of 63 percent of the deaths that have occurred within the North Central Health District thus far during the pandemic have been associated with a congregate setting outbreak, while 17-percent of the total COVID-19 cases district-wide have been linked directly with a congregate setting outbreak.

The breakdown of deaths at facilities in Milledgeville and Baldwin County reveals that there have now been a total of 15 residents to die from complications associated with the disease at the Georgia War Veterans Home in Milledgeville.

Ten other deaths have occurred, meanwhile, at the Bostick Nursing Center on the campus of Renaissance Park at Central State Hospital.

At Chaplinwood Nursing Home, there have been three deaths attributed to the virus.

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