Friday, December 18, 2020

State Reports 488 COVID-19 Cases And Three Deaths From Disease In Northeast Health District; Oconee Schools Reports Increase In Cases

***Death At Clarke County Nursing Home***

The Northeast Health District added 488 new cases of COVID-19–383 of them the result of molecular tests and 105 identified via antigen tests–and two deaths from the disease with the release of Friday’s Department of Public Health Daily Status Report.

Both of the dead were residents of Walton County. One was a 66-year-old female without a known chronic condition and the other was an 87-year-old male, also without a known chronic condition.

Walton County now leads the 10-county Northeast Health District with 84 deaths, or 87.7 per 100,000 population. The District as a whole now has 379 deaths, or 71.4 per 100,000 population.

The seven-day rolling average of added deaths in the Daily Status Report fell to 1.3 on Friday from 1.7 on Thursday. The District had added five deaths on Friday a week ago.

The Department of Community Affairs, in its Friday Long-Term Care Facility Report, also listed a death–at The Oaks–Athens Skilled Nursing in Clarke County. The Department of Community Health does not list characteristics of the deceased.

Cases Added 

The seven-day rolling average of added cases, based on a combination of the outcomes of molecular and antigen testing, increased to 379.4 on Friday from 363.6 on Thursday. The rolling average has been increasing steadily since Dec. 12 and is at a new high.

Oconee County added 46 cases based on a combination of the test outcomes, and Clarke County added 93. The seven-day rolling average for Oconee County climbed to 27.0 on Friday from 23.7 on Thursday, and the Clarke County rolling average was 69.4, up just slightly from 69.3 on Thursday.

The 46 cases added in Oconee ties the record number of cases added on Tuesday, and the seven-day rolling average of 27.0 added cases per day is a new record high.

The Department of Community Health also listed one new case of COVID-19 among residents of the Northeast Health District’s long term care homes and one new case among staff at those facilities.

The resident case was at The Oaks–Athens Skilled Nursing in Clarke County, and the staff case was at Northridge Health and Rehabilitation nursing home in Jackson County.

Oconee County Schools

Oconee County Schools, in its final Weekly COVID-19 Status Report for the year, listed 28 Active COVID-19 cases and 167 Active Quarantines Due To Close Contact. This is the highest number of both Active Cases and Active Quarantines the system has reported the entire year.

Last week, the Weekly COVID-19 Status Report listed 15 Active Cases and 149 Active Quarantines, in both cases record numbers to that point.

Oconee County Schools does not release to the public any information on the cases, but school principals do send announcements to parents of students at their school when someone in the school has tested positive.

Parents have forwarded to me, during the past week, announcements of one case at Colham Ferry Elementary School, one case at Dove Creek Elementary School, four cases at High Shoals Elementary School, five cases at Malcom Bridge Middle School, two cases at Oconee County Middle School, four cases at North Oconee High School, and five cases at Oconee County High School.

That is a total of 22 cases, leaving six cases unaccounted for.

At 6:05 p.m., after the 4:07 p.m. release of the Friday Status Report, Tony McCullers, principal at Colham Ferry Elementary School, sent a note to parents, saying “On December 18, 2020, we were alerted to an individual in our school who tested positive for COVID-19.”

Classes resume on Jan. 5.

The Department of Public Health reported for the third straight day that it could not provide data on the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the state, the number of ICU beds in use, and the number of ventilators in use.

The Department of Public Health blamed the the lack of the data on “a technical problem currently affecting the hospital dashboard that supplies bed, ventilator and patient census data. The problem is being worked on and as soon as it is fixed, we will again post the links to that dashboard.”

State Data

Across the state, the Daily Status Report listed 6,149 confirmed COVID-19 cases based on molecular tests and 2,342 cases based on rapid, antigen tests.

The total 8,491 cases is a new state record, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases (combined) increased from 6,358.9 on Thursday to 6,540.0 on Friday, a new record.

The state added 38 confirmed deaths from the disease, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths dropped from 34.1 on Thursday to 32.1 on Friday. The state added no “probable deaths” on Friday.

Twenty-two of the confirmed deaths occurred in the last 14 days, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths based on when the death occurred increased on Friday, as it had on Thursday.

The Department of Community Health listed 674 long-term care facilities in the state with COVID-19 among their residents and/or staff on Friday, up from 673 on Thursday.


All of the charts 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.

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 and Clarke counties on the left and for Oconee County Schools on the right.

Charts 4 and 5 show data for the entire state of Georgia.

Click any chart to enlarge it.

Chart 1
Chart 2
Chart 3
Chart 4
Chart 5



Unknown said...

Perhaps we are seeing the results of the Christmas parade and the function at Wire Park on the Covid rates in the schools.

Jeanne Barsanti

Rebecca Billings said...

A recent article was published by the National Vaccine Information Center, (originally published in January) titled "PCR Test for Coronavirus questioned by prominent scientists". In the article, the authors stated, "Our conclusion is supported by the fact that a tremendous number of very serious design flaws were found by us, which make the PCR test completely unsuitable as a diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus. " If this is true, then inaccurate testing means inaccurate reported numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths, and no justification to declare a state of emergency. Is the Covid-19 virus more deadly than other viruses? The CDC has posted that US deaths have remained the same the past three years despite Covid-19.