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4,100 additional COVID-19 positive cases in Georgia; over 186,000 total

A medical healthcare worker drops a specimen collection into a container after testing a motorist for COVID-19 at a community testing site in the parking lot of La Flor de Jalisco #2 in Gainesville, Ga., Friday, May 15, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
A medical healthcare worker drops a specimen collection into a container after testing a motorist for COVID-19 at a community testing site in the parking lot of La Flor de Jalisco #2 in Gainesville, Ga., Friday, May 15, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

An additional 4,149 cases of COVID-19 were reported Friday afternoon by the Georgia Department of Public Health, bringing the statewide total to 186,352.

The state Department of Health reported 81 additional coronavirus-related deaths. According to the DPH, a total of 3,752 people have died in Georgia since the pandemic began.

In the six Southeast Georgia counties tracked by News4Jax, 51 new cases were reported Friday . For reasons unknown, the total number of confirmed cases in Charlton County were reduced by one.

As of Thursday, the total number of hospitalizations statewide stood at 18,689 -- 386 of which were reported in the last 24 hours. The state admits the total number of hospitalizations is likely an underestimation since it only counted if it was at the time the case was reported to DPH. The number also does not represent the number of people currently hospitalized.

Over 1.57 million people had been tested in the state, which had a 10.9% positivity rate, as of Friday.

The Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta will begin receiving patients Monday with 60 beds initially and increase to 120 beds if needed, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Friday.

Kemp spokesman Cody Hall said the facility would be able to take care of sicker patients than when 200 beds were initially set up in part of the mammoth convention center in April and then later dismantled after caring for only a handful of recovering patients who needed low levels of care. New capabilities will include administering oxygen and medication drips to patients. Hall also said staffing will “reflect the level of need for patients that we are seeing.”

The state’s remaining 80-bed temporary facility at Milledgeville will not open for now, Hall said. Georgia has also deployed smaller pods to hospitals in Rome, Gainesville, Macon and Albany.

Reopening the convention center comes as Georgia hospitals have been voicing concerns about bed space with the surge of cases.

The AP contributed to this story