Monday, April 20, 2020

Northeast Health District Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 Increased By 13 On Monday, But Seven-Day Rolling Average Remains Stable

***New Testing Available; Data Problems Persist***

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 13 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 in the Northeast Health District in its noon Daily Status Report on Monday, up from the count of 11 added on Sunday and the same number of cases it added on Monday a week ago.

The Daily Status report numbers vary by day of the week, and in each of the last three days–Saturday, Sunday and Monday–the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases was the same as the number on that day a week ago.

The rolling seven day average of confirmed cases remains stable for the last three days at 23.9 cases added per day. The reports typically list large numbers of new cases on Tuesdays through Fridays.

Oconee County did not add any cases from noon on Sunday to noon on Monday, and Clarke County added only two, the same number it added from noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday.

The Northeast Region reported a total of 24 deaths attributed to COVID-19 at noon on Monday, the same number it reported on Saturday and Sunday.

Across the state, the seven-day rolling average number of confirmed cases declined slightly, but average number of deaths across the last seven days increased.

The Northeast Health District of the Department of Public Health on Monday announced that it is partnering with the Athens Free Clinic to provide mobile COVID-19 testing to Athens-Clarke County residents who lack access to healthcare.

The Department of Public Health continues to struggle with its reports, having to replace a faulty 7 p.m. Daily Status Report on Sunday, pulling its Long-Term Care Facility Reports from its web site, and still not indicating how it determines the county of cases and deaths listed in its Daily Status Reports.

Athens Free Clinic Service

Sarah Peck, clinic manager for the Clarke County Health Department, announced on Monday morning that the Northeast Health District, at the request of the Athens-Clarke County Government and with coordination from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, is partnering with the Athens Free Clinic.

The Athens Free Clinic is a service of the Augusta University and University of Georgia Medical Partnership and is based at 1425 Prince Avenue on the University of Georia medical campus.

Dr. Suzanne Lester, assistant professor at the AU/UGA Medical Partnership and practicing physician at Piedmont Athens Regional, is medical director of the Medical Partnership Mobile Athens Free Clinic.

The mobile clinic will provide COVID-19 testing to “individuals who may be unable to access testing due to homelessness, lack of transportation, or other barriers to care,” according to the news release.

The Athens Free Clinic mobile unit will go directly to individuals who otherwise would not be able to get tested and provide testing free of charge, according to the release.

The Northeast Health District will support this collaboration by providing test kits and personal protective equipment, processing specimens collected by the mobile clinic, notifying individuals who test positive for COVID-19, and performing any needed follow-up, the news release states.

The Northeast Health District operates a separate mobile clinic that provides drive-through testing at various sites throughout its 10-county area.

Individuals with a primary care provider can call the doctor, who can either perform the test or refer you for testing, according to the news release.

Individuals without a primary care provider can call the Northeast Health District’s hotline for testing: 706-340-0996.

Reports Problems

The Georgia Department of Public Health released its 7 p.m. Daily Status Report on Sunday showing 18,157 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 3,426 hospitalizations, and 681 deaths.

All of those figures were significantly lower than the numbers from the noon Daily Status Report.

The number of tests was the same in the two reports.

The Department of Public Health replaced that 7 p.m. Daily Status report without comment with one marked as 21:34 p.m. that showed increased numbers of cases, deaths, and hospitalizations.

The number of tests remained the same in all three reports.

The Department of Public Health had issued three Long Term Health Facility Reports, on April 10, April 14 and April 17.

The reports contained a number of inconsistences, including that some nursing Homes and Personal Care Homes in the Northeast Region appeared with COVID-19 cases on early reports and did not show up in later ones

Those reports were prominently displayed on and available for download from the Department of Public Health Web site until Monday.

Peck, who serves as communication specialist for the Northeast Health District, told me in an email message on Monday that she still has not been able to get a response from the Department of Public Health central office indicating if Zip Code or some other identifier is used to categorize deaths and cases by county in the Daily Status Report.


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

The table at the bottom includes the data for all 10 of the counties beginning with the discovery of the first case in the region (in Clarke County) on March 14.

The number of deaths for each of the 10 counties is listed in the box at the top, left of the chart.

The data have been updated to include the numbers included in the noon Monday Daily Status Report.

Chart 1 (Click To Enlarge)

Chart 2 below shows the actual number of new reported confirmed COVID-19 cases across time, 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 Monday Daily Status Report.

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.

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.

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

Chart 3 (Click To Enlarge)

Chart 4 below provides the actual number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths attributable to the disease going back to March 2 for the state of Georgia. 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 Monday Daily Status Report.

Chart 4 (Click To Enlarge)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you again, Lee, for doing all this work. It is good that the lines are flattening after 3 weeks of sheltering in place. Now that the Governor is allowing some businesses to reopen, the nature of some of them not really conducive to social distancing, it will be interesting to see what happens. Hopefully people will be as careful as possible.