Friday, June 12, 2020

Three New COVID-19 Deaths In Northeast Health District Push Up The Seven-Day Rolling Average Of Added Deaths

***Nursing Home Active Cases Continue To Decline***

Three COVID-19 deaths listed in Friday’s Daily Status Report of the Department of Public Health pushed up the seven-day rolling average of deaths in the 10-county Northeast Health District, consistent with the statewide trend of increasing deaths from the disease.

The Northeast Health District added 24 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday, but that was much lower than the 59 new cased added a week ago, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped from 27.0 per day on Thursday to 22.0 per day on Friday.

Across the state as a whole, however, the number of cases continued to increase with the issuance of Friday’s Daily Status Report.

Oconee County actually lost a recorded case on Friday, and its cumulative number of cases is 128, but Clarke County added six cases.

Two of the three deaths in the Northeast Health District were in Barrow County (a 65-year-old male with a chronic condition and a 90 plus-year-old female without a known chronic condition) and the third was in Greene County (a 71-year-old male with no chronic condition).

The Department of Community Health, in its Friday Long-Term Care Facility Report, listed no new deaths attributed to COVID-19 for the Northeast Health District, and no new cases among staff.

The Department of Community Health did add one facility to its report of those with COVID-19 infections–the Social Circle Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Walton County–and that facility had a single COVID-19 positive case among its 58 residents.

The Long-Term Care Facility Report has not listed any new deaths at area nursing and personal care homes since June 8, and only three new cases among residents, so the 11 deaths and 136 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Daily Status Report since June 8 would seem to be almost entirely in the community at large.

The number of current or active cases at the area long-term care facilities continued to decline with the Friday report.

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency Situation Report was not issued as of late evening on Friday.

State Data

The Department of Community Health issued a statement on Friday that 97 percent of the residents of the state’s long-term care facilities with 25 beds or more had been tested for COVID-19.

From The Department Of Community Health Web Site

The report also said that 74 percent of the residents of the state’s long-term care facilities with 25 beds or more had been tested for COVID-19.

I tried to contact the media office at the Department of Public Health by telephone just at 4 p.m. on Friday for a clarification but was directed to the mailbox of the number, told the mailbox was full, and told to “please try your call again later.”

I searched for media sites that might have gotten a clarification of the conflicting information, but the sites I found used the news release without explanation.

The statement on the web refers to the Thursday Long-Term Care Facility Report, which does not contain any data or other information on testing.

Possible Explanation

What seems possible is that the 97 percent figure is for the 430 facilities listed in the Thursday Report (that number went to 432 on Friday) that have at least one COVID-19 case and are thus included in the facility report.

The 74 percent may refer to all long-term care facilities in the state with at least 25 beds, including those without any evidence of the disease.

Facilities with fewer than 25 beds do not have to report their COVID-19 cases to the Department of Community Health under any circumstance, and the Department of Community Health says it does not check the reports given to it by those that are required to file the information.

The Department of Public Health on Friday said that only 23 of the 43 newly reported deaths in the Daily Status Report occurred within the last 14 days, and it recorded new deaths as far back as April 11.

Even with the newly added deaths pushed back so far in time, the rolling average of deaths by date of occurrence increased on Friday just slightly from Thursday.


The first three charts below show data across time for the 10-county Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The final two charts show data for the state of Georgia.

All of the charts except Chart 3 are based on data from the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report, updated with the 2:50 p.m. report on Friday.

Chart 3 is based on data from the Department of Community Health Long-Term Care Facility Report and is listed as current as of 2 p.m. on Friday. Information on Current Cases has been included only in recent reports.

Chart 1 (Click To Enlarge)

Chart 2 (Click To Enlarge)

Chart 3 (Click To Enlarge)

Chart 4 (Click To Enlarge)

Chart 5 (Click To Enlarge)


Unknown said...

Hi Lee,
The GA public health web site now clarifies why the number of cases is greater than the number of positive tests. The reported test number is from the labs reporting electronically. The cases include positive tests from other sources. This does make sense to me and is somewhat reassuring that the number of cases is probably accurate. I guess we were not the only ones confused by the data as presented. Again, thanks for all your efforts, really appreciate you.

Jeanne Barsanti

Lee Becker said...


Thanks for this. I had seen this explanation and did make reference to it in one of my posts but should been more explicit about the implications.

It takes a whole community, and I appreciate your comment.