Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Northeast Health District Sets New Record Of Added COVID-19 Cases As Number In State Soars

***Clarke County Adds 43 New Cases, 155 In Last Week***

The state of Georgia set a new record on Wednesday with the addition of 2,946 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 108 of those in the 10-county Northeast Health District.

The new cases in the state pushed the seven-day rolling average of added cases to 2,122.3, and the new cases in the 10-county Northeast Health District resulted in a seven-day rolling average of 61.1.

The previous highs in both cases had been achieved a day earlier, as the number of cases both across the state and locally is reaching levels far surpassing those reached in April when the state was under social distancing requirements and business restrictions due to the pandemic.

While testing has increased, it is now clear that the rapid growth in new cases over the last week is not the result of the modest growth in testing.

In the 10-county Northeast Health District, the largest growth in new cases was in Clarke County, which added 43 new confirmed cases on Wednesday.

Oconee County added five cases, Barrow added nine, Walton added 18 and Jackson added 20.

Only Morgan and Greene counties in the Northeast Health District did not add cases on Wednesday.

Clarke County has added 155 cases in the last seven days. Oconee County has added 21.

Oconee County Schools

Oconee County Schools announced at 10 a.m. on Tuesday in a letter sent to parents posted on social media that it plans to reopen schools on Aug. 5 for in-person instruction. The schools were shut down this spring because of the pandemic, and reopening has been uncertain.

Parents and students also will be given a chance to choose what is termed a “distance/digital learning option” rather than the in-person instruction.

Parents are asked at present to indicate their preferences, but they will not have to commit to the in-person or distance learning option until another form is sent out on July 7.

For those choosing in-person learning, school will take place on a regular Monday through Friday schedule unless there is a significant increase in COVID-19 spread, according to the announcement.

Depending on the level of increased spread, a hybrid learning model or systemwide distance/digital learning model may be utilized, the statement continues.

The decision has not been publicly discussed by the Board of Education, which meets virtually at 6 p.m. on Monday. Public comment is not allowed at work sessions.

Deaths From COVID-19

The Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Wednesday listed 22 deaths in the state, none of them in the 10-county Northeast Health District.

The seven-day rolling average of added deaths increased to 18.4 at the state level and remained unchanged for the Northeast Health District at 0.7 deaths per day.

Eighteen of the 22 deaths added on Wednesday occurred in the last 14 days, according to the information released in the Daily Status Report.

The Department of Public Health reported that one of the new deaths it listed actually occurred on April 13, indicating the long delay in the filing of some of the records.

Other old records were for deaths on June 4, June 12 and June 17.

Other Reports

The Department of Community Health listed 499 long-term care facilities across the state with COVID-19 cases among its residents and/or staff, up from 494 on Tuesday.

Twenty-five of those were in the Northeast Health District, up from 24 on Tuesday.

New to the list was the Hollander Senior Living personal care home in Monroe in Walton County, which reported a COVID-19 positive staff member but no residents with the disease.

The number of residents with active cases of the disease at the long-term care facilities in the Northeast Health District dropped by one with the issuance of the Wednesday report.

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency did not issue its Situation Report COVID-19 as of the time of this post.


The Department of Public Health has released data on tests and, on May 27, first reported how many of the tests were serology tests, designed to tests for past exposure to the novel coronavirus, and how many were viral tests to test for the active virus.

In the Wednesday report, the Daily Status Report listed the addition of 348 serology tests and of 21,160 virology tests.

Chart 6 below plots the rolling averages of added confirmed COVID-19 cases and of added virology tests, on a dual axis chart.

The differences between the amount in the two lines is not significant, as it reflects the different metrics used to plot the lines.

What is important is the independent shapes of the lines.

If the positive cases were simply a function of tests, they would have to follow the same pattern.

In recent weeks, the number of tests has remained relatively stable, but the number of confirmed cases has spiked.


All six of the charts below are based on data from the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report and have been updated with the 2:57 p.m. release of that report on Wednesday.

Charts 1 and 2 are for the Northeast Health District, Chart 3 is for Clarke and Oconee counties, and the remaining charts 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)

Chart 5 (Click To Enlarge)

Chart 6 (Click To Enlarge)

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