COVID-19 deaths and cases continued to drop in the 10-county Northeast Health District on Thursday with the release of the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report.
The Report listed three confirmed deaths from the disease and 217 new cases, and the seven-day rolling average of both confirmed deaths and cases were down from the day before.
Included among the three confirmed deaths was a 90-plus-year old male in Clarke County without a chronic condition.
The other deaths were of a 73-year-old male in Elbert County and an 86-year-old male in Oglethorpe County, neither of whom had a chronic condition.
Clarke County now has 101 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, while Elbert County has 40 deaths and Oglethorpe County has 20.
The Northeast Health District now has 673 confirmed deaths, and the seven-day rolling average of added confirmed deaths dropped to 5.3 from 6.1 on Wednesday. Thursday was the first time confirmed deaths had averaged fewer than six per day since Jan. 15.
The Daily Status Report did list one new “probable death” from COVID-19. That death was in Walton County. The Department of Public Health does not list characteristics of “probable deaths.”
The Department of Community Health, in Thursday’s Long Term Care Facility Report, also listed one new COVID-19 death at Magnolia Estates personal care home in Elbert County. The Report does not list the characteristics of the deceased.
The Department of Public Health distributes the Long-Term Care Facility Report, but it does not consider the deaths listed in it as “confirmed” COVID-19 deaths.
Cases, Hospital Report
With the addition of the 217 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the seven-day rolling average of added cases in the Northeast Health District fell to 192.1 from 204.9.
The seven-day rolling average of added cases has not been less than 200 since Dec. 3.
Oconee County added 14 COVID-19 cases on Thursday, and Clarke County added 35. The seven-day rolling average of added cases in Oconee County fell to 11.6 from 12.0 on Wednesday, and the rolling average in Clarke County fell to 44.7 from 49.9 on Thursday.
Michael Eddy, principal at Malcom Bridge Middle School, sent parents of students at the school an email at 6:40 p.m. on Thursday informing them that “two individuals” at the school had tested positive for COVID-19.
Eddy had sent a message on Wednesday as well informing parents of “two individuals” who had tested positive for the disease on that day.
And he informed parents on Friday, after the schools issued their weekly report, of “an individual” at the school who had tested positive.
The Department of Community Health on Thursday listed six cases of COVID-19 among residents of the 40 long-term care facilities in the Northeast Health District and three new cases among staff of those facilities.
The resident cases were at facilities in Barrow and Greene counties, and the staff cases were at homes in Barrow, Greene, and Morgan counties.
The Department of Community Health released its Tuesday Report on Wednesday and did not release a Report on Wednesday, so the added death and cases are based on a comparison of the Tuesday Report with the Thursday Report.
The Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) reported on Thursday that the number of COVID-19 patients at area hospitals (139) decreased by 19 from the day before, the number of ICU beds in use (73) decreased by one from the day before, and the number of adult ventilators in use (41) increased by two from the day before.
The number of COVID-19 patients has now decreased for four days in a row.
The Department of Public Health added 76 new confirmed deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths dropped to 91.0 from 100.3 on Wednesday.
The rolling average of added confirmed deaths has been above 100 every day since Jan. 14.
Thirty of the 73 added deaths were dated as occurring in the last 14 days, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths by date of occurrence increased on Thursday, as it has now three days running.
The Department of Public Health eliminated three deaths it had previously listed as attributed to COVID-19. One of those was on Jan. 14, and one of the deaths added in Thursday's Report occurred on Nov. 8!
The Department of Public Health added 19 “probable deaths” from COVID-19, and the seven-day rolling average of added “probable deaths” dropped to 19.0 from 20.3 the day earlier.
The Department of Public Health added 4,411 new cases of COVID-19 across the state on Thursday, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped to 4,077.0 from 4,313.4 on Wednesday.
The Department of Community Health reported in its Thursday Report that COVID-19 was present in 709 of the state’s long-term care facilities. That number had been 711 on Tuesday, and 718 at its high point on Jan. 28.
Facilities self-report and are supposed to file data every day once a case or death has been reported, so the decline is reporting error and seems to represent fatigue on the part of the reporting facilities.
The Department of Community Health should use the most recent report of data from a facility when the facility fails to provide an update, but it does not do so.
Two of the 40 facilities in the Northeast Health District have stopped reporting, so each day I use the report from the previous day in making my comparisons to identify changes among the facilities in the District.
The Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) reported on Thursday that the number of COVID-19 patients (3,204) at the state’s hospitals decreased from the day before, the number of ICU beds in use (2,651) decreased from the day before, and the number of adult ventilators in use (1,382) decreased from the day before.
The Department of Public Health reported administration of an additional 52,331 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations on Thursday, down from 53,170 on Wednesday.
The total number of vaccinations in the state is now 1,353,978. It isn’t possible to know how many of those are first and second doses. The state has a population of 10,833,472.
The state did not receive any additional allocation or shipments of the vaccine on Thursday.
Only 900 of the 1,835,775 allocated doses had not been shipped on Thursday, and 73.8 percent of the shipped doses had been administered.
Data on vaccinations are not being released at the county level.
The charts below show the seven-day rolling average of the addition of COVID-19 molecular and antigen cases combined for the Northeast Health District and for the state of Georgia since Nov. 3, when the state first began reporting antigen test results.
The data in the charts come from the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report and have been updated for the 2:50 p.m. Report on Thursday.
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