Nine of the 10 counties in the Northeast Health District added at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 in the 24-hours ending at noon on Thursday, and the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report showed the district as a whole adding 33 new cases.
Those 33 cases compare with 32 a day earlier and 27 on Thursday of last week. The seven-day rolling average of added cases rose from 23.0 to 23.9.
Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry reported that the Georgia Emergency Management Agent added two new Active Cases to his list on Wednesday but none on Thursday. Because cases are removed after 21 days, the number of Active Cases in Oconee County on Thursday is down to 13 from 15 on Wednesday.
The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Northeast Health District remained unchanged at 27.
Sales Tax Decline
Across Georgia, the number of newly recorded COVID-19 cases increased by 759 to 26,033, with the seven-day rolling average down from 647.7 to 645.9.
The number of deaths increased by 55 to 1,107, with the seven-day rolling average increasing from 30.9 to 33.6.
Some of the data in the Daily Status Report are now being updated hourly, and these figures come from the 11:25 a.m. report on Thursday.
The Georgia Department of Revenue released its sales tax distribution data on Thursday for March, and both Oconee and Clarke counties, as well as the state as a whole, recorded drops of about 10 percent from March of 2019.
A comparison of raw data on number of added confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state on a daily basis with the number based on new estimates of when the disease was first identified shows that the primary effect is to move the cases back in time.
The Daily Status Report contains a chart based on these recalculated data that suggests a dramatic drop in cases, but a closer examination of the data indicates it is premature to reach that conclusion based on the data presented.
Department Of Revenue Data
The Georgia Department of Revenue released its sales tax distribution figures on Thursday, but they reflect taxes collected in March.
Gov. Brian Kemp didn’t issue a shelter-in-place order until early April, but parts of the economy began to shut down in March.
The figures to be released a month from now will be more telling.
I downloaded the April 30 figures on Thursday morning and made comparisons with the data from March of a year ago. Sales tax revenue vary greatly by month, so the best comparison for a given distribution is the distribution for that month a year earlier.
For Oconee County, the March 2020 collections of Local Option Sales Tax, Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, and Education Local Option Sales Tax all declined.
The taxes are similar but produce different revenue figures each month, and LOST dropped 9.0 percent, SPLOST dropped 9.8 percent, and ELOST dropped 10.0 percent.
In Clarke County, LOST revenue declined 10.2 percent, SPLOST revenue declined 10.2 percent, ELOST revenue dropped 11.0 percent, and Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue declined 9.4 percent.
Across the state, all Local Option Sales Tax revenue declined in March from March of a year ago by 9.0 percent.
Local Data Charts
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 11:25 a.m. Thursday Daily Status Report.
|Chart 1 (Click To Enlarge)|
Chart 2 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 Thursday Daily Status Report released at 11:25 a.m.
|Chart 2 (Click To Enlarge)|
Chart 3 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.
I made a recording error in number of deaths in the report on Wednesday. I have corrected that error in the text for yesterday’s post and in the chart below. I apologize for the mistake.
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 goes back further in time.
Each of the four charts has been updated to include the numbers included in the 11:25 a.m. Thursday Daily Status Report.
|Chart 3 (Click To Enlarge)|
Chart 4 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 11:25 a.m. Thursday Daily Status Report.
|Chart 4 (Click To Enlarge)|
Chart 5 below plots the added number of confirmed COVID-19 cases based on when those cases have been released in the noon Daily Status Reports and the added number of cases based on the re-dating of those cases by the Department of Public Health.
The Daily Status Report does not release the raw data for its charts, but it is possible to reconstruct the data for this one chart by manually sliding the marker on the chart across time and copying out the data points.
I did that and plotted both the raw data on added cases, that is, the number that comes from subtracting the number of confirmed cases each day from the number from the day before, and the new number from the chart that assigns a date to each case.
The Department of Public Health says that date is “indicated” for the “newly confirmed COVID-19 cases" “based on the combination of dates based on: 1) date of symptom onset; 2) if the date is invalid or missing, the first positive collection date is used and 3) if both of those dates are invalid or missing, the date the case is reported is used.”
The footnote to the chart explains that data from April 16 and beyond are incomplete and will change as new cases are added, using the procedure specified.
The striking difference in the line is that many of the cases reported in the Daily Status Report are pushed back in time, smoothing out the line somewhat.
It is impossible to know what the data for the last two weeks will show in terms of flattening of the line or any decrease in the number of cases.
|Chart 5 (Click To Enlarge)|