Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Clarke County Added 17 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases On Tuesday, Leading The Northeast Region, Which Added 33 Cases

***Daily Status Report Revised***

Clarke County added 17 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 in the 24-hour period ending at noon on Monday, while Walton County added seven cases, Barrow County added five cases, and Oconee and Jackson counties each added two cases.

The 10-county Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health added 33 cases with the noon Daily Status Report on Tuesday, up from the 12 added on Monday and from the 24 added on Tuesday a week ago.

The seven-day rolling average of cases in the Northeast Health District went up from 20.6 on Monday to 21.9 on Tuesday.

The region also added a death, with a new death recorded in Greene County. The Daily Status Report dropped on Tuesday details of individual deaths around the state.

Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry also reported that the Department of Public Health has added one active case of COVID-19 to its report to the county’s 911 Center, bringing the total number of known active cases to 15.

State Figures

Across the state, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 increased by 778 to 24,551. The number had increased by only 372 on Monday, but it had increased by 934 a week ago, and the rolling average for the seven-day period dropped from 689.4 to 667.1

The number of deaths attributed to the disease in the state has now topped the 1,000 mark. The final figure in the noon Tuesday Daily Status Report was 1,020.

The state added 78 deaths on Tuesday, up from 30 on Monday and up from 66 a week ago. The seven-day-rolling average increased from 29.9 on Monday to 31.6 on Tuesday.

For the first time ever in a Daily Status Report, no new tests were recorded. The total number of tests stood at 127,169, or 1.2 percent of the state’s estimated 10.6 million people.

The Department of Public Health radically modified the format and content of the Daily Status Report on Monday evening, and the new report provides large charts based on recalculation of dates of the data points showing more positive interpretations of the data being released than do the raw numbers themselves.


Chart 1 below plots the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across time for the 10-county Northeast Health District (orange line, left-hand vertical axis) and for the state of Georgia (blue line, right-hand vertical axis.)

The number of active cases in Oconee County is shown in the box at the top, left. Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry receives these data as head of the county’s 911 Center and began releasing the data to the public on April 26.

The chart is updated to include the raw data on confirmed cases from the noon Tuesday Daily Status Report.

UPDATE: Sheriff Berry said in the afternoon on Tuesday that he had received the addresses for two more active cases in Oconee County. I updated the chart below to include that information. I also moved the case he added earlier Tuesday to Monday, since he said he had received that information on Monday.

Chart 1 Updated (Click To Enlarge)

Chart 2 shows data released in the noon Daily Status Report for Tuesday.

I have selected out the 10 counties that make up the Northeast Health District of the Department of Public Health. The district includes Oconee and Clarke counties.

The number of hospitalizations has not been released at the county level prior to the revision of the Daily Status Report on Monday evening.

The Department of Public Health has specified in a new methodological note added to the Daily Status Report on Monday evening that county is taken from what it calls a Persons Under Investigation report.

The methodological note does not indicate if that report actually lists county or only address. If the latter is the case, the county data are actually ZIP Code data.

Because of my concern about the county classification, I have reported regional data in these posts.

I continue my efforts to get the Department of Public Health to clarify the nature of the county data.

Chart 12(Click To Enlarge)

Chart 3 below shows the actual number of new reported confirmed COVID-19 cases across time in the Northeast Health District, with the blue line showing the actual count and the orange line showing the rolling or moving seven-day average.

The lines have been updated to include the numbers included in the noon Tuesday Daily Status Report.

Chart 3 (Click To Enlarge)
Chart 4 below summarizes the cumulative data from the state of Georgia on four indicators: number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, number of deaths attributed to COVID-19, number of tests for the disease, and number of hospitalizations for treatment of the disease.

The charts begin on March 2, when the first cases were discovered in Atlanta. Measures of tests and hospitalizations are included from the point at which the Daily Status Report provided those data.

The chart at the top-left differs from Chart 1 in that it go back further in time.

Each of the four charts has been updated to include the numbers included in the noon Tuesday Daily Status Report.

Chart 4 (Click To Enlarge)
Chart 5 below provides the actual number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in Georgia attributable to the disease going back to March 2. Those data are plotted with the blue lines.

The orange lines are based on computation of the rolling or moving seven-day averages for confirmed cases and deaths.

The two charts have been updated to include the numbers included in the noon Tuesday Daily Status Report.

Chart 5 (Click To Enlarge)

The revision of the format and content of the Daily Status Report, with the Monday evening version, is dramatic.

New information is included, such as the hospitalizations by county, but other information has been removed, such as the characteristics of the individual deceased and the source of the testing.

The format is radically different, giving prominence to a series of charts based on revisions in the timing of cases and deaths.

In the old reports, cases and deaths were reported as they were determined.

To give a better sense of the progression of the disease in the state, these individual cases have been given new dates reflecting an estimate of the onset of the disease, and the deaths have been redated to reflect actual time of passing, rather than the time that death was recorded.

The negative effect of the changes, however, is that it means that data for the current period is largely missing, as cases will be added when they are recorded and dated in the future. The same is true for deaths.

Chart 6 (Click To Enlarge)

The charts contain warnings about the incomplete data, but they also show dramatic drops in cases and deaths that may not reflect the state of the disease today.

The data also do not match earlier data released.

I have selected out four charts and labeled them to indicate the differences in the cumulative figures from the Daily Status Reports, using the old method of labeling cases and deaths as they are recorded, and the charts.

The sophistication of the charts also masks to some extent the limitations of the data.

Charts on race of confirmed cases show that data are missing for 7,689 of the 24,551 cases, or 31.3 percent.

The number of confirmed cases, based on the listing by counties, is 23,586, not 24,551.

In the noon Daily Status Report on Monday, 1,027 cases were listed as from nonresidents of Georgia, but simply adding those cases to the 23,586 brings the total to 24,614, not 24,551.

The Department of Public Health has had persistent problems with data reporting consistency since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Chart 7 (Click To Enlarge)


Unknown said...

Thanks for all your work on this! You are my go to for local info on COVID.
Hope yall are staying safe!

Unknown said...

Yes, thank you for sorting this all out on our behalf. It is interesting how the Department of Public Health web page makes things look rosy until you see the fine print that the information listed for the previous 14 days is incomplete and not an accurate indication of trends! Clearly, case numbers continue to go up with no sustained decline in case numbers.