For the third day in a row, both Oconee and Clarke counties recorded a death attributed to COVID-19 with the release of the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Saturday.
The Oconee County death was of a 60-year old male with a chronic condition, while the Clarke County death was of a 74-year-old female without a chronic condition.
Jackson County also recorded a death of a 77-year-old female with a chronic condition, but the Department of Public Health removed from its file the death of a 70-year-old female with a chronic condition in Walton County, so the cumulative number of deaths in the Northeast Health District increased by two.
The seven-day rolling average of added deaths in the District was 2.6 on Saturday, down from 2.7 on Friday. The District added three deaths on Saturday a week ago.
The District has added one or more deaths on each of the last nine days and 18 in the last week.
Oconee County now has 20 deaths attributed to COVID-19, Clarke County has 24, and the 10-county Northeast Health District as a whole has 175.
The Department of Public Health reported 147 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases increased from 123.6 on Friday to 124.7 on Saturday.
Each county in the 10-county district added two or more cases, and Oconee County added 16 and Clarke County added 57. Oconee County has added 78 cases in the last 14 days, and Clarke County has added 446.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported eight Critical Care Beds available in area hospitals on Saturday, up from four on Friday, 129 COVID-19 Patients, down from 135 on Friday, and 27 ventilators in use, the same as on Friday.
The Department of Community Health does not release a Long-Term Care Facility Report on the weekend.
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia on Wednesday released its first COVID-19 Testing Data Report since the university has come back into session.
I have not reported data from the web release because I do not understand what is being presented and have not been able to get an explanation.
At one point, the web page says: “The tables below reflect 7-day averages, which eliminate the variations that can be reflected in daily figures. They are updated every Wednesday.”
The charts and tables, however, say the data are weekly reports, not seven-day averages, and they present whole numbers, which would be unusual in a report of an average.
One of the tables reports seven positive COVID-19 tests by the University Health Center, five by the Athens-Clarke County Community, three by the University of Georgia Surveillance program, and 32 from “Other” sources.
Despite the inclusion of the data in a single chart and table, the web site says the surveillance test outcomes “should not be added to the positive tests reported below to achieve a total number of positive tests.”
The web pages also admonishes the reader that “the data does not serve as an accurate barometer of the current status of COVID-19 at any point in time at any one of UGA’s campuses.”
Four faculty at the University published a column in the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday criticizing the testing and reporting by the University. The faculty are in the Department of Public Health and Management and the Department of Public Administration and Policy.
The four faculty call on the university to report daily: the Counts of total tests conducted, new positive cases, and the case positive rate; Counts of individuals in quarantine, self-isolation, and who are hospitalized; and On-campus quarantine capacity available.
State Data On Deaths
Across the state on Saturday, the Department of Public Health reported 95 new COVID-19 deaths, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths was 62.1, compared with 62.3 on Friday. The state recorded 96 deaths last Saturday.
The new deaths pushed the state total number of deaths from the novel coronavirus above 5,000, to 5,092.
Fifty-nine of those new deaths were in the last 14 days, and the seven-ray rolling average of deaths dated by occurrence increased for the second day in a row.
The Department of Public Health acknowledged eliminating at least one death dated July 21 from its archive of COVID-19 deaths, but it isn’t possible to know from the public records if that was the Walton County death of a 70-year-old female reported on July 31.
On July 31 the Department of Public Health listed a 70-year-old female in Walton County with a chronic condition in the Daily Status Report.
The Department of Public Health never explains why it eliminates from its records previously listed COVID-19 deaths. It is possible the Walton County death was moved to another county.
Other State Data
The Department of Public Health reported 2,615 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped to 2,485.1 from 2,593.3 on Friday.
The Department of Public Health reported adding 29,068 molecular tests for the disease, and the seven-day rolling average of added tests increased to 23,014.9 from 21,435.6 on Friday.
The Saturday rolling average of added tests is considerably below the 33,010.4 reported as recently as Aug. 11.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Saturday 2,361 Current Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations (COVID-19 Patients), down from 2,408 on Friday, and 1,137 ventilators in use, down from 1,179 on Saturday.
All of the charts below except Chart 4 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 Saturday.
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.
Chart 4 is based on data gathered by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and the Georgia Hospital Association and presented by the Georgia Geospatial Information Office.
The data shown are for Region E of GEMA, which includes the 10 counties in the Department of Public Health Northeast Health District as well as Franklin and Hart counties.
Charts 5 and 6 show data for the entire state of Georgia.
Click on any of the charts to enlarge it.