The Department of Public Health reported three deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Northeast Health District on Wednesday, and the District has now reported at least one death from the disease in seven of the last 10 days.
The seven-day rolling average of added deaths remained unchanged from Tuesday at 1.9. The 10-county District added three deaths last Wednesday.
The deaths were of a 67-year-old male in Barrow County with a chronic condition, an 86-year-old male in Barrow County with a chronic condition, and a 60-year-old female in Madison County without a chronic condition.
The District added 163 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped to 146.6 on Wednesday from 156.0 on Tuesday. The District had added 229 cases on Wednesday a week ago.
Every county in the 10-county District added at least three cases. Oconee County added five, and Clarke County added 33.
The Department of Community Health on Wednesday reported two additional cases of COVID-19 among staff at long-term care facilities in the District. These were at a nursing home in Greene County.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported that area hospitals had seven Critical Care Beds available as of noon on Wednesday, up from six on Tuesday.
Oconee County Schools reported its first confirmed COVID-19 case on Tuesday with a positive test identified at Oconee County Middle School. School began on Wednesday of last week.
Parents at Oconee County Middle School were informed of the positive test outcome in an email message sent out at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday by Oconee County Middle School Principal Keith Carter. (The initial report had Carter at the wrong middle school. I apologize for the error.)
“On 8/11/20, we were alerted to an individual in our school who tested positive for COVID-19,” the email said. “We have been working closely with local public health officials to ensure the proper recommendations are followed to isolate the student/teacher/staff diagnosed with COVID-19, identify close contacts, and clean and disinfect areas of the school building.”
Anisa Sullivan Jimenez, director of Communications for Oconee County Schools, said on Tuesday morning that the schools had two “suspected cases” of COVID-19, meaning that the diagnosis had not yet been confirmed by a test.
One of those was at High Shoals Elementary School and another was at Rocky Branch Elementary School.
UPDATE: Jimenez told me in an email message just after midnight on Wednesday that the schools have one "suspected" case and two "diagnosed" cases.
The two diagnosed cases are at Oconee County Middle School and Dove Creek Elementary School.
One of the two earlier "suspected" cases is no longer "suspected" because the "individual does not have COVID," Jimenez wrote.
Jimenez also corrected my error regarding Oconee County Middle School. I thank her very much for her help.
Jimenez, in an email message she sent me just after noon on Wednesday, said that “from this point forward, to align with DPH protocol, only diagnosed will be reported. Individuals can be diagnosed by a physician or by a test.” DPH stands for the state Department of Public Health.
“No identifying information about whether infected individuals are students, staff, or faculty will be reported,” Jimenez said. “School-level details will also not be reported.”
I will continue to include in my daily posts any cases that Jimenez reports and ask parents to continue to forward to me correspondence they receive from the schools about COVID-19.
Across the state, the Department of Public Health reported 109 new COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths increased to 70.9, a new record.
The 109 deaths are second only to the 137 reported on Tuesday.
The state eliminated four cases previously reported, and at least 84 of the new cases occurred in the last 14 days. The seven-day rolling average of added deaths dated by occurrence also increased on Wednesday over Tuesday.
The Department of Public Health Daily Status Report added 3,660 new COVID-19 confirmed cases across the state on Wednesday, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped from 3,563.6 on Tuesday to 3,541.1 on Wednesday.
The Department of Community Health reported COVID-19 among the residents and/or staff of 617 of the state’s 790 long-term care facilities, down from 618 the day before.
Facilities self-report each day, and they are supposed to continue to report even if no new cases have been identified, but it is not uncommon for facilities to fail to report. The Department of Community Health does not track down missing reports.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Wednesday 2,865 Current Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations, down from 2,881 on Tuesday. Ventilator use increased from 1,234 on Tuesday to 1,272 on Wednesday.
Charts 1 to 5 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 Wednesday.
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.
Chart 3 presents data for Oconee and Clarke counties only.
Charts 4 and 5 show data for the entire state of Georgia.
Click on any of the charts to enlarge it.