Monday, July 20, 2020

Northeast Health District Lists Smallest Number Of New COVID-19 Cases In Eight Days

***Oconee Schools Commit To Aug. 5 Reopening***

The Northeast Health District added 67 new COVID-19 cases with the release of the Daily Status Report on Monday, the smallest number since the 10-county District added 50 cases on July 12.

The seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped to 120.7 from 129.1 on Sunday.

The 67 new cases were spread around the District. Oconee County added five cases and Clarke County added 17.

The Department of Public Health listed one new Northeast Health District death attributed to COVID-19 in the Monday Daily Status Report, of a 63-year-old female in Oglethorpe County without a known chronic condition.

The seven-day rolling average of added deaths, based on the Daily Status Report listing, remained unchanged at 1.0

The Department of Health did not include two Clarke County COVID-19 deaths listed in the Monday Department of Community Health Long-Term Care Facility Report. Both deaths were at the Pruitt Health Athens Heritage nursing home, 960 Hawthorne Avenue.

In addition, at least eight deaths listed by the Department of Community Health since June 29 in a Jackson County nursing home have never been listed in the Daily Status Report.

The Department of Community Health report also listed on Monday six new COVID-19 Positive Staff at facilities in Greene and Oglethorpe counties.

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency on Monday listed seven Critical Care Beds available at area hospitals, up from five on Sunday.

Oconee County School Superintendent Jason Branch announced on Monday that the county’s schools will go forward with plans to reopen schools on Aug. 5, without a requirement that a mask be worn, and with the understanding that the schools will remain open even if COVID-19 is discovered at the schools.

Oconee County Schools

Branch told the Board of Education at its regular meeting on Monday that he personally had consulted with top public health officials at the White House, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and at the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Branch (Middle) At Board Of Education 7/20/2020

The advice he received, he said, is that the schools should open and they should remain open even if “one case” is discovered. He did not specify what level of spread of the disease might lead to a decision to close the schools.

The Board of Education allowed for 19 persons to speak at the end of the meeting, after Branch had announced his decision and allowed members of his cabinet to provide details of school opening plans.

Claire Buck, chief academic officer for the Oconee County Schools, told the Board that 13 percent of the systems elementary and middle school students will enroll in the “digital/distance learning” option, while 8 percent of the High School students will use that option.

Systemwide, the figure is 11.5 percent of the students opting for distance learning, she said.

Majority Support Decision

A clear majority of those who spoke supported the decision to allow parents to select either in-person instruction or a “digital/distance learning” option.

Included among those who spoke were four students who said they want to get back to school.

Opponents of the decision to move forward asked for more time, for a mask requirement, and for more consultation with teachers.

A number of those who spoke were teachers. While most supported the current plans, one North Oconee High School teacher asked for a delayed in-person opening and virtual instruction in the interim.

A few of those who spoke used ideological language to make the case for the school decision, but most did not, focusing instead on the needs of students and of parents.

The meeting lasted nearly three hours.

State Data

Across the state on Monday, 2,452 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed, according to the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report. The seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped from 3,742.4 on Sunday to 3,572.3 on Monday.

The state added three new deaths, including the one in Oglethorpe County, and all three were dated as having occurred in the last 14 days.

The seven-day rolling average of added deaths dropped from 24.6 on Sunday to 21.4 on Monday.

The Department of Community Health listed 575 long-term care facilities with COVID-19 among its residents and/or staff.

The Department of Community Health has been very error-prone across time in production of its report, and Monday’s report did not include The Pearl At Loganville in Walton County.

That facility–a personal care home–had included 18 COVID-19 cases among its 27 residents in the Thursday Department of Community Health Report–the most recent before Monday’s.

In addition, The Pearl had listed a cumulative four resident deaths in the report of last Thursday.

Long-term care facilities submit their data to the Department of Community Health, and there seems to be little evaluation of the data before it goes into the Long-Term Care Facility Report.

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency listed 3,183 Current Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations on Monday, up by 147 from Sunday’s Report. The 3,183 is a new record.

Ventilator use also increased by 63, to 1,137.


All four charts below are based on data from the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report, updated with the release of the report at 2:50 p.m. on Monday.

Charts 1 and 2 are for the 10-county Northeast Health District.

Charts 3 and 4 are for the state of Georgia as a whole.

Chart 1 (Click To Enlarge)

Chart 2 (Click To Enlarge)

Chart 3 (Click To Enlarge)

Chart 4 (Click To Enlarge)


Unknown said...

Oconee County has voted to be the guinea pig. Best of luck.

Lee Becker said...

Please either use a Google ID that contains your real name or type your real name at the end of the comment.