The Northeast Health District added 245 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Friday. The District added no new confirmed deaths attributed to the disease.
The 245 added cases of COVID-19 and no deaths compare with the 180 new cases and one confirmed death added in the week ending July 9.
The average of 35.0 new cases per day for the week ending on Friday compares with the average of 25.7 new cases per day for the week ending on July 9.
Oconee County added 10 cases in the week ending on Friday, and Clarke County added 55.
In the week ending on July 9, Oconee County added 11 cases and Clarke County added 51.
The seven-day rolling average of added cases in Oconee County per 100,000 population was 3.8, and it was 6.1 in Clarke County.
A week ago those rolling averages had been 4.1 in Oconee County and 5.3 in Clarke County.
The 10-county Northeast Health District has 945 confirmed deaths from the disease.
The Northeast Health District had 94 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, the same as a week earlier.
These data are from the Friday Daily Status Report of the Department of Public Health.
University, Long-Term Care, Hospital Reports
The University of Georgia on Wednesday, in its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Update, reported no positive COVID-19 tests.
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The University had reported four positive COVID-19 tests last week.
The University reported that 85 individuals were tested at the walk-in Legion Field site, down from 86 a week earlier, and none of the tests came back positive.
This was the ninth week in a row that none of the tests came back positive. Tests now are being conducted at the University Health Center.
The Department of Community Health did not release its Long-Term Care Facility Report again on Friday.
While no announcement has been made, the link to the Long-Term Care Facility Report on the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report home page consistently produces the message “Access denied.”
The Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Friday that the number of COVID-19 patients at area hospitals was 24, the number of ICU beds in use was 49, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 29.
On Friday a week earlier, the number of COVID-19 patients was 12, the number of ICU beds in use was 54, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 33.
According to the raw data behind the Department of Public Health Vaccine Distribution Dashboard for Friday, 37.0 percent of the residents of the Northeast Health District had at least one dose of a vaccine on Friday and 34.2 percent were fully vaccinated.
Last week, those figures were only slightly lower--36.7 with at least one dose and 33.9 fully vaccinated.
In the 10-county Northeast Health District, Oconee County continues to have the highest rate of residents with at least one dose (49.2 percent) and the highest percentage fully vaccinated (46.1 percent).
Clarke County has 40.6 percent of its residents with at least one dose and 37.6 percent fully vaccinated.
The figures are only slightly changed from a week ago, when Oconee County had 48.8 percent of its residents with at least one dose and 45.8 percent fully vaccinated.
A week ago, 40.3 percent of Clarke County’s residents had at least one dose of the vaccines, and 37.3 percent were fully vaccinated.
Differing Population Estimates
These percentages for Oconee and Clarke counties are different from those shown on the Vaccine Distribution Dashboard.
I have used the population estimates reported by the Department of Public Health in the Daily Status Report rather than the lower population estimates that the Department of Public Health uses in the Vaccine Distribution Dashboard.
The Department of Public Health doesn’t explain why it uses the lower population estimates for the vaccine report and the higher population estimates for the COVID-19 case report.
It is impossible to know what the more accurate population estimate is, pending release of the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau data, but the current use of the two sets of estimates lowers the COVID-19 case incident reports by population and increases the vaccination reports by population.
If the Vaccine Dashboard estimates are used, Oconee County now has 50.5 percent of its population fully vaccinated, and Clarke County has 38.7 percent of its population fully vaccinated.
The Athens Banner-Herald used the higher estimates for both counties in its front-page story on July 17, based on data current as of July 14 and posted online on the morning of July 16.
Vaccinations And Cases
Oconee County added only 259 new vaccinations in the last seven days ending on Friday, compared with 265 added the week earlier.
Clarke County added 830 new vaccinations in the last seven days, compared with 798 a week earlier.
The Northeast Health District does show some evidence of a relationship between the level of vaccination and the reported new cases of COVID-19.
Oconee and Greene counties have the highest vaccination rates and the lowest rates of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population, reflected in the seven-day rolling average of cases reported.
Walton, Jackson, and Barrow counties have the lowest rates of vaccinations and report relatively high case rates per 100,000 population.
Morgan County, on the other hand, has a moderately high rate of vaccination but also a high case rate.
Elbert County has a low rate of vaccination and also a low case rate.
Clarke County ranks third from the top in vaccination rate but fifth from the bottom in case rate.
State, National Comparisons
Georgia continues to be among the states with the lowest percentage of its population fully vaccinated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia had only 37.5 percent of its population fully vaccinated on Friday. That figure had been 37.1 on July 9.
Only six states, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Wyoming, Louisiana, and Idaho, have lower percentages.
Nationally, the percentage of persons fully vaccinated was 48.4 on Friday.
The figure is 66.7 in Vermont, the state with the highest rate of full vaccination.
At present, the vaccine is being administered only to those 12 years old and older.
Nationally, 56.6 percent of the population 12 or older is vaccinated.
That figure is 44.3 percent in Georgia, also the seventh lowest among the states.
Vermont also has the highest vaccination rate for those 12 plus in age at 75.6 percent.
Note: I have corrected an error in the initial posting. Walk-in testing at the University of Georgia is no longer at Legion Field, but rather at the University Health Center. I apologize for the error and appreciate the correction.