The Northeast Health District added 377 COVID-19 cases and five deaths from the disease on Friday with the release of the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report, increasing the seven-day rolling averages of added cases and deaths.
One of the deaths listed in the Daily Status Report was of a 76-year-old Clarke County male without a chronic condition. The death brings to 57 the number in the county attributed to COVID-19.
The other deaths were of a 66-year-old male in Jackson County without a chronic condition, of a 56-year-old female in Walton County without a chronic condition, of an 88-year-old female in Walton County with a chronic condition, and of an 88-year-old female in Walton County without a chronic condition.
The deaths bring to 54 the number of COVID-19 deaths in Jackson County and to 81 the number of COVID-19 deaths in Walton County.
The total number of deaths in the Northeast Health District from the disease now stands at 370, and the seven-day rolling average of added confirmed deaths from the corona virus was 1.7 on Friday, up from 1.3 on Thursday.
The Daily Status Report also listed one new “probable death” from the disease, bringing the total to 33 since “probable deaths” were first reported on Nov. 3. The newly added “probable death” was in Elbert County. No characteristics of these deaths are listed.
The Daily Status Reported listed 309 confirmed cases based on molecular tests and 68 based on antigen tests.
The seven-day rolling averages of added cases from both the molecular and antigen tests increased, and the seven-day average of added cases, combining those from molecular and antigen tests, increased to 306.4 on Friday from 303.4 on Thursday.
Oconee County added 16 cases based on molecular tests and four based on antigen tests, while Clarke County added 86 cases based on molecular tests and six based on antigen tests. The seven-day rolling average of combined results of the two tests increased from 16.1 to 17.7 in Oconee County and from 64.3 to 66.0 in Clarke County.
Oconee County Schools reported 15 Active COVID-19 Cases and 149 Active Quarantines Due to Close Contact in its COVID-19 Status Report for Friday. The number of Active Cases had been 13 a week earlier, and the number of Active Quarantines had been 29.
The number of Active Cases and the number of Active Quarantines are the most reported in any weekly summary since the school system began reporting cases on Aug. 14 when the school year began.
The school system does not report any detail of the active cases, but principals do send to parents of children of the affected schools notices when a case is identified.
Parents have forwarded to me 14 messages from this past week (listed in Chart 3). Three were on Dec. 5, one was on Dec. 7, four were on Dec. 8, three were on Dec. 9, and two were on Dec. 10.
Three of the cases were at North Oconee High School, and parents at that school received another message at 7:32 p.m. on Friday–after issuance of the weekly report–of two additional cases at that school.
Malcom Bridge Middle School also had three Active Cases last week.
Anisa Sullivan Jimenez, director of Communications for Oconee County Schools, on Monday explained, in response to a question from me, that “Individuals identified as close contact are quarantined.
“Close contact is defined as 15 or more minutes within 6 feet of the diagnosed person beginning two days before the person tested positive or had symptoms,” she said.
Hospital, Long-Term Care Reports
The Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) reported on Friday that the number of COVID-19 patients at area hospitals (144) increased by four from the day before, that the number of ICU beds in use (68) increased by two from the day before, and that the number of adult ventilators in use (30) decreased by one from the day before.
Area hospitals have 70 ICU beds without creating special units, so the 68 beds in use are 97.1 percent of capacity. Across the whole state, 85.8 percent of the ICU beds are in use.
The Department of Community Health reported nine new cases of COVID-19 among residents of long-term care facilities in the Northeast Health District. All of those were in Athens-Clarke County: seven at PruittHealth–Athens Heritage and two at PruittHealth–Grandview.
The Department of Community Health also reported four new cases of COVID-19 among staff at long-term care facilities in the Northeast Health District: one at Arbor Terrace of Athens and one at one at PruittHealth–Athens Heritage and two at Legacy Health and Rehabilitation in Greene County.
The Department of Public Health listed 52 new deaths across the state of Georgia attributed to COVID-19 in the Friday Daily Status Report, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths increased to 37.1 from 35.9 on Thursday.
Thirty of those added new deaths occurred in the last 14 days, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths based on date of occurrence increased on Friday, as it had on Thursday.
In addition, the Daily Status Report listed four “probable deaths” from the disease.
The Daily Status Report listed 4,775 COVID-19 cases based on molecular tests, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases based on that test dropped to 4,117.9 on Friday from 4,153.3 on Thursday.
The Daily Status Report listed 1,650 cases based on rapid antigen tests, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases based on the antigen test increased to 1,389.9 from 1,379.6 on Thursday.
Across the state, the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) reported on Friday that the number of COVID-19 patients (2,834) increased from the day before, the number of ICU beds in use (2,503) decreased from the day before, and the number of adult ventilators in use (856) decreased from the day before.
The number of COVID-19 patients is the highest it has been since Aug. 12.
The Department of Community Health listed 668 long-term care facilities across the state with COVID-19 among their residents and/or staff on Friday, up from 665 on Thursday.
All of the charts below except Chart 3 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.
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 shows data for Oconee County Schools.
Charts 4 and 5 show data for the entire state of Georgia.