The Northeast Health District added 141 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Friday Department of Public Health Daily Status Report, but the number is down from the record high of 154 added last Friday, leading to a drop in the seven-day rolling average of added cases.
The Daily Status Report included no new deaths attributed to the disease for the 10-county District, and the seven day rolling average of added deaths dropped to 1.4 from 1.9 on Thursday.
The death toll in the Daily Status Report is difficult to assess, since at least eight deaths listed in the Department of Community Health Long-Term Care Facility Report in Jackson County since June 29 still have not been included in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency listed six Critical Care Hospital Beds available in the Friday Situation Report COVID-19, down from eight on Thursday. The area’s two hospitals have 70 Critical Care Beds.
Emergency Room Bed availability also declined, but General Inpatient Beds availability increased.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency provides no time reference for the data in its report, released late on Friday.
Every county in the 10-county Northeast Health District added cases on Friday, and the seven day rolling average of added cases of 115.0 on Friday compared with 116.9 on Thursday.
The Department of Public Health Daily Status Report listed four new COVID-19 case in Oconee County and 53 in Clarke County.
The Department of Public Health dates cases, based on its estimate of when symptoms began, but it does not release those data at the county level.
A conservative estimate of active cases, based on the number reported in the last 21 days, is 127 for Oconee County and 677 for Clarke County.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency does distribute Department of Public Health data on active cases to county emergency offices that request it, and Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry reported on Thursday that the county had 86 active COVID-19 patients on the list he received.
Lee Shearer, reporter for the Athens Banner-Herald, reported in Saturday’s paper that spokespersons for both Piedmont Athens Regional and St. Mary’s Hospital confirmed that the hospitals on Wednesday had reached capacity and were on “diversion,” meaning any incoming patients were to be referred elsewhere.
Both hospitals said the situation had quickly returned to normal, Shearer reported.
Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Russell Edwards reported Wednesday evening that sources at both Piedmont Athens Regional and St. Mary’s and had told him as of 2:35 p.m. on Wednesday that admissions were being diverted at both hospitals because emergency room, critical care and general hospital beds were at capacity.
The Department of Community Health, under the heading on its web page Long-Term Care Facility COVID-19 Report July 17, 2020, released the same report late on Friday it had issued on Thursday.
It is not possible to know if no Friday report was produced or if the web link simply is incorrect.
The Department of Public Health added 3,908 new COVID-19 cases for the state of Georgia as a whole on Friday, which was down from the record 4,484 cases issued on Friday of last week, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped from 3,506.9 on Thursday to 3,424.6 on Friday.
The 28 deaths listed in the Daily Status Report also were down from 35 on Friday of last week, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths dropped from 24.9 on Thursday to 23.9 on Friday.
Twenty-five of those 28 cases were in the last 14 days, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths based on date of occurrence rather than date of reporting actually increased on Friday from Thursday.
The Department of Public Health removed one death reported earlier from its file, so the actual number of added deaths was 29, rather than 28.
Testing, Hospital Beds
The percentage of molecular tests that produced a positive result increased to 16.0 on Friday, the highest level it has reached going back to June 3, when the Department of Public Health began releasing these data.
Molecular tests are used to confirm a virus infection. Serology tests, 8.2 percent of which were positive in the Friday report, are used to test for past immune response to the disease.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported that the number of Current Confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state was 2,902 with the release of the Friday report, the highest level recorded going back to first release of these data on May 1.
The number of ventilators in use increased to 1,104, just down from the record 1,109 set four days earlier.
The number of Critical Care Beds in use in the state was at 2,461, the highest number recorded going back to May 11, when these data were first released to the public.
The first six charts below are based on data from the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report and have been updated with the 2:50 p.m. issuance of that report on Friday.
The final chart is based on data from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency Situation Report COVID-19 and is updated based on the Friday afternoon release of that report.
Charts 1 and 2 are for the 10-county Northeast Health District, and Chart 3 is for Oconee and Clarke counties only. These two counties are part of the Northeast Health District.
Charts 4 through 7 are for the state of Georgia as a whole.
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