Oconee County added another death from COVID-19 with the release of the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Tuesday.
The Oconee death, of a 75-year-old female without a chronic condition, brings to 15 the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the county.
Clarke County, according to the Tuesday Daily Status Report, also has 15 deaths attributed to COVID-19, but the Department of Community Health on Monday listed two additional deaths at the Pruitt Health Athens Heritage nursing home on Clarke County that do not appear in the Daily Status Report.
The Daily Status Report listed a total of four COVID-19 deaths in the Tuesday report, bringing the seven-day rolling average of added deaths in the 10-county Northeast Health District to 1.6 from 1.0 on Monday.
Elbert County reported its first COVID-19 death, of a female with no chronic condition listed as 90 or more years of age.
Barrow County added the death of a 26-year-old female with a chronic condition, and Jackson County added a 77-year-old female without a chronic condition.
The Department of Community Health has at least seven additional deaths reported since June 29 in its Long-Term Care Facility reports that have not been included in the Daily Status Report of the Department of Public Health.
Every County except Morgan added at least one confirmed COVID-19 case in the Tuesday Daily Status Report, with Oconee County adding 10 cases and Clarke County adding 31.
The district as a whole added 126 cases, and the 10-day rolling average of added cases increased to 124.3 from 120.7 on Monday.
Even with the addition of the four new deaths in the Northeast Health District on Tuesday, deaths are greatly lagging the addition of cases.
The District has added 2,196 cases in the last 21 days–a conservative estimate of active cases. But it has added only 20 deaths.
Oconee and Barrow counties are the leaders in terms of the addition of deaths in the last 21 days, each adding five.
Clarke County is the hands-down leader in terms of the addition of cases, having added 755 in the last 21 days. Clarke County has added no deaths in the Daily Status Report.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported seven of the 70 Critical Care Beds in area hospitals were unoccupied on Tuesday. That figure had been five on Monday.
The four deaths added in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report for the Northeast Health District on Tuesday were part of a surge of new deaths attributed to COVID-19 across the state.
The state as a whole added 78 new deaths, creating a tie with April 28 for the second highest number of deaths reported in a single day. On April 7, 100 new deaths were reported.
The seven-day rolling average of added deaths jumped to 28.6 on Tuesday from 21.4 on Monday.
Fifty-one of those deaths occurred in the last 14 days, and the seven-day rolling average of deaths by date of occurrence jumped sharply from Monday.
The Department of Public Health reported that one of the newly added deaths occurred on April 11, another on May 12, and two on May 14. The Department never explains the delay in reporting deaths.
The State added 3,413 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases increased slightly from 3,572.3 on Monday to 3,575.0 on Tuesday.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported 3,155 Current Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations across the state in its Tuesday report, a drop of 28 from the day before. The number of ventilators in use, however, increased by 45 to 1,182.
The Department of Community Health Long-Term Care Facility Report listed 582 facilities around the state with COVID-19 cases among their residents and/or staff, an increase from 575 on Monday.
Department of Community Health Report
In the 10-county Northeast Health District, Brookside Commerce personal care home in Commerce in Jackson County joined the Department of Community Health list with the report of a COVID-19 positive staff member and three COVID-19 positive residents.
The Oaks Athens Skilled Nursing on Kathwood Drive in Clarke County also reported an additional staff member with COVID-19 on Monday, as did Hill Haven Nursing Home, also in Commerce.
The Pearl At Loganville in Walton County, which on Thursday of last week listed 18 COVID-19 cases among its 27 residents in the Thursday Department of Community Health Report and four resident deaths, did not appear in the report on Monday and was missing again from the Tuesday report.
I pointed out this discrepancy to Rep. Houston Gaines, who represents the 117th House District in the Georgia General Assembly, and asked for help on Tuesday understanding how a long-term care facility that has had COVID-19 could be missing from the Long-Term Care Facility Report.
Department Does Not Take Responsibility
Gaines, who is my representative, reported back to me on Tuesday afternoon that he had contacted Brandy Sullivan at the Department of Community Health who told him “The facility information that is posted on our website is self-reported by the facilities.
“Any discrepancies in those reports should be clarified by the facilities themselves,” she wrote.
She did offer me another person to contact, and I’ll follow up with him tomorrow. Gaines said he will follow up on my request as well.
Sullivan told Gaines that “as of July 6, the Department of Public Health has been composing these reports. Any additional questions about the data should be addressed to them.”
This does not explain why the Department of Public Health is not including in the Daily Status report deaths listed in the Department of Community Health Long-Term Care Facility Report.
I will ask about that as well.
The five charts below are based on data for the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report, updated as of 2:50 p.m. on Tuesday.
The first three charts are for the 10-county Northeast Health District.
The remaining two charts are for the state of Georgia as a whole.
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