The Northeast Health District added 85 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped to its lowest level going back to July 27.
The District added one death, of an 85-year-old male in Walton County, but the Department of Public Health removed a death listed on Wednesday in Barrow County.
The cumulative number of deaths in the District remained unchanged at 151, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths dropped to 1.4 from 1.9 on Wednesday as a result.
The Department of Community Health, however, on Thursday reported two deaths at University Nursing and Rehab Center in Athens-Clarke County that do not appear in the Department of Public Health list.
The Department of Public Health reported two deaths at that same nursing home on Tuesday that also do not seem to have appeared on the Department of Public Health list.
The Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Tuesday did list one new death in Clarke County. That was of a 62-year-old male–an unlikely, though not impossible–resident of a nursing home.
All 10 counties in the Northeast Health District did add confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases was 139.3, down from 146.3 on Wednesday. Oconee County added four cases and Clarke County added 16.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported that six Critical Care Beds were available in area hospitals as of noon on Thursday, down from seven on Wednesday.
Oconee County Schools reported no new COVID-19 diagnoses at the end of the day on Thursday.
Anisa Sullivan Jimenez, director of Communications for Oconee County Schools, told me in an email message at 4:16 p.m. on Thursday that the schools have one “suspected” case of COVID-19 at High Shoals Elementary School, one “diagnosed” case at Oconee County Middle School, and one “diagnosed” case at Dove Creek Elementary School.
The earlier-reported “suspected” case at Rocky Branch Elementary School has been resolved, Jimenez said.
Jimenez told me in an email message earlier on Thursday that “We will continue prioritizing transparent communication to our schools.”
I had asked Jimenez to identify procedures that will be used for releasing information to the public.
“At this time, there is no set procedure in place for status reports,” she said.
I have written to Superintendent Jason Branch and each of the five members of the Oconee County Board of Education asking them to “put on the OCS web site at the end of each day the number of cumulative ‘diagnosed’ cases and the number of new ‘diagnosed’cases.”
No one has acknowledged or responded to the request.
Across the state on Thursday, the Department of Public Health, in its Daily Status Report, listed 2,674 new COVID-19 confirmed cases, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases fell from 3,541.1 on Wednesday to 3,458.9 on Thursday.
The state added 83 new deaths attributed to COVID-19, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths increased to 76.7 on Thursday–an all-time record high--from 70.9 on Wednesday.
Over the last three days, the state has added 329 new deaths from the disease, and the seven-day average is showing dramatic growth.
At least fifty-seven of those added deaths were in the last 14 days, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths increased on Thursday from Wednesday.
The Department of Public Health reported that it eliminated one death–possibly the death in Barrow County–from its list. One of the deaths it added it dated as having occurred on May 10.
The Department of Community Health reported COVID-19 among the residents and/or staff of 615 of the state’s 790 long-term care facilities, down from 617 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 Thursday that the number of Current Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations had dropped to 2,807 from 2,865 on Wednesday and the number of ventilators in use had dropped from 1,249 from 1,272.
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 Thursday.
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.