Friday, July 24, 2020

Seven-Day Rolling Averages Of Added COVID-19 Cases Reach Record Levels; Area Hospitals Reported All Critical Care Beds In Use

***Area Leaders Say Hospitals In “Stable Position”***

The seven-day rolling averages of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases both regionally and for the state as a whole reached record levels with the release of the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Friday.

The seven-day rolling average of added deaths also reached a record level for the state, and, with the addition of a death in Barrow County, the seven-day rolling average in the 10-county Northeast Health District also increased, though not to a record level.

For the first time going back to when data were first report on April 17, the number of available critical care beds at area hospitals dropped to zero.

Area governmental leaders issued a statement on Friday afternoon after the Georgia Emergency Management Agency report on hospital beds was released saying “our healthcare providers remain in a stable position and are able to care for our community.

“Both hospitals are able to expand ICU bed capacity as needed,” according to the statement. “Our hospitals have contingency plans in place should they need to be implemented, but to date, they have not had capacity issues.”

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency Report does not specify the time point of collection of data for its Friday Daily Situation Report COVID-19, which includes the hospitalization data.

Area hospitals have a listed capacity of 70 Critical Care Beds, and all are listed as in use in the Friday Report, but the hospitals also have 142 emergency room beds, only 55 of which were reported as in use, and 633 General Inpatient Beds, 542 of which were listed as in use.

Addendum: Rep. Marcus Wiedower posted to his Facebook page shortly after I published this story saying he was home from the hospital recovering from scheduled surgery where he also was diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia.

Local And State Data

Across the state, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency on Friday listed 3,135 Current Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalization, down from 3,157 on Thursday and 3,179 on Wednesday.

The number of ventilators in use, however, increased from 1,209 on Thursday to 1,254 on Friday.

Daily Situation Report 7/24/2020 Page 2 (Click To Enlarge)

The data on Current Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations and ventilator use is not released at the regional level.

Every county in the 10-county Northeast Health District contributed to the 172 new COVID-19 cases in the District in the Friday Daily Status Report.

Oconee County added four cases, and Clarke county added 40. The seven-day rolling average of added cases increased to 133.6, a new record high.

Across the state, 4,813 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were added in the Daily Status Report on Friday. That figure is a record, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases of 3,745.4 also is a record.


The Barrow County death was of an 81-year-old male with a chronic condition. Barrow and Walton counties are tied in the 10-county Northeast Health district with 32 deaths, while Oconee County and Clarke counties hold second position, each with 15 deaths.

Across the state, 82 new deaths were added in the Friday Daily Status Report, the second highest number of added deaths ever. On April 7, 100 deaths were added in the Daily Status Report.

The seven-day average of added deaths now stands at 44.3, a figure not reached even back in April.

Of those 82 newly added deaths, 54 occurred in the last 14 days, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths by date of occurrence also increased on Friday, and it has increased each of the last four days.

The Department of Community Health did not release a Long-Term Care Facility Report on Friday.

Local Statement

Oconee County Commissioner John Daniell, Athens Mayor Kelly Girtz and Winterville Mayor Dodd Ferrelle teamed up with state legislators representing the area in issuing the statement on Friday afternoon.

“This afternoon, we held another conference call update with Piedmont Athens Regional and St. Mary’s, the Department of Public Health and other healthcare providers and want to share the latest information with the community,” the statement reads.

“We are seeing continued increases in the number of positive COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations in our area,” according to the statement.

“As we heard in our last update, we’re seeing more community-spread related hospitalizations-- whereas a few weeks ago, we were seeing more nursing home related hospitalizations,” the statement continued. “The age of in-house patients has decreased, as well.”

“It’s also important to know that the hospitals remain able to care for non-COVID patients,” according to the statement. “We’re now seeing some effects of individuals waiting months to take care of other medical issues, and it’s important that our community know our healthcare providers continue to be able to provide quality services."

Testing Still A Problem

“As we all learn more information about COVID-19, physicians are able to treat COVID-19 patients more effectively. Fewer patients are ultimately ending up in ICU or requiring ventilators,” the statement reads.

“While supplies remain in a good position, testing turnaround time continues to be a significant issue, particularly among commercial labs,” the leaders wrote.

“We hope you will join us in helping calm any panic and reassuring the community that our healthcare providers remain strong,” they said.

“Social distance, wear a mask, wash hands--that’s how we’ll turn our numbers back in the right direction,” they said. “We need to be smart and follow these guidelines.”

Senators Bill Cowsert and Frank Ginn and Representatives Spencer Frye, Houston Gaines and Marcus Wiedower were signers of the statement. Cowsert, Gaines and Wiedower represent Oconee County.

“As cases continue to rise, it is important that everyone helps to protect our community by remaining vigilant with social distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands,” Daniell said in an added statement on the Oconee County web page.


Charts 1 to 4 below are based on data from the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report and have been updated to include data from the release of that report at 2:50 p.m. on Friday.

Chart 5 is based on data from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency Situation Report COVID-19 and has been updated to include data from the late afternoon report on Friday.

Charts 1 and 2 include data from the 10-county Northeast Health District of the Department of Public Health, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties.

Charts 3 and 4 show data for the entire state of Georgia.

Chart 5 includes in the main chart data for the state of Georgia and, in the inset, data for Region E of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, which includes Oconee and Clarke Counties, the remaining counties in the Northeast Health District, and Franklin and Hart counties.

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)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

And yet, the Oconee schools are scheduled to open without masks and the University will open with the bars also open. Maybe a degree of panic is needed in the face of the rising case numbers to get people to do what is being asked - wear masks, physical distancing.

Jeanne Barsanti