Friday, July 30, 2021

Number Of Cases Of COVID-19 Double In Last Week In Oconee County And In Northeast Health District

***Number Of COVID-19 Hospital Patients Also Doubled***

The 10 county Northeast Health District added 837 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Friday–more than twice the number added a week earlier.

District also added one new confirmed death attributed to the disease. The death was in Oconee County.

The 837 added cases of COVID-19 and two deaths compare with the 411 new cases and two confirmed death added in the week ending July 23.

The average of 119.6 new cases per day for the week ending on Friday compares with the average of 58.7 new cases per day for the week ending on July 23.

Oconee County added 68 cases in the week ending on Friday, and Clarke County added 173.

In the week ending on July 23, Oconee County added 25 cases and Clarke County added 95.

The seven-day rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday per 100,000 population was 22.9, and it was 19.5 in Clarke County.

A week ago those rolling averages had been 8.6 in Oconee County and 10.3 in Clarke County.

The unstandardized rolling average in Oconee County on Friday was 9.6 cases, compared with 25.3 cases in Clarke County. Those figures had been 3.7 in Oconee County and 13.4 in Clarke County a week earlier.

CDC Recommendation

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday labeled both Oconee and Clarke counties as having a “high” level of transmission.

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Under its new guidelines, the CDC recommends that even fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings.

The CDC also is recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Oconee County schools is opening on Wednesday without a mask mandate or recommendation that masks be worn.

The Oconee County death was of an 86-year-old female without a chronic condition, the 67th confirmed death from COVID-19 in the county since the pandemic began in February of 2020.

The Oconee County death occurred on July 8.

The 10-county Northeast Health District now has 948 confirmed deaths from the disease.

The Northeast Health District had 95 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, up from 94 a week earlier. The added “probable” death was in Walton County.

These data are from the Friday Daily Status Report of the Department of Public Health.

University And Hospital Reports

The University of Georgia on Wednesday, in its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Update, reported 11 positive COVID-19 tests.

The University had reported 12 positive COVID-19 tests last week.

The University reported that 156 walk-in tests were performed on individual volunteers at the University Health Center, up from 148 a week earlier, and two of the tests came back positive.

The positivity rate was 1.3, compared with 1.4 a week earlier.

The Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Friday that the number of COVID-19 patients at area hospitals was 65, the number of ICU beds in use was 58, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 37.

On Friday a week earlier, the number of COVID-19 patients was 32, the number of ICU beds in use was 65, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 37.

The Department of Community Health has discontinued release of its Long-Term Care Facility Report, which reported on COVID-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes and personal care homes in the state by county.

Vaccine Updates

According to the raw data behind the Department of Public Health Vaccine Distribution Dashboard for Friday, 38.0 percent of the residents of the Northeast Health District had at least one dose of a vaccine on Friday and 34.9 percent were fully vaccinated.

Last week, those figures were only slightly lower--37.4 with at least one dose and 34.6 fully vaccinated.

In the 10-county Northeast Health District, Oconee County continues to have the highest rate of residents with at least one dose (50.2 percent) and the highest percentage fully vaccinated (46.7 percent).

Clarke County has 41.5 percent of its residents with at least one dose and 38.2 percent fully vaccinated.

The figures are only slightly changed from a week ago, when Oconee County had 49.5 percent of its residents with at least one dose and 46.5 percent fully vaccinated.

A week ago, 40.9 percent of Clarke County’s residents had at least one dose of the vaccines, and 38.0 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 reports and the higher population estimates for the COVID-19 case reports.

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 51.1 percent of its population fully vaccinated, and Clarke County has 39.3 percent of its population fully vaccinated.

This slightly higher figure is frequently cited because it is the one being reported by on the Department of Public Health Vaccine Distribution Dashboard.

Oconee County added 374 new vaccinations in the last seven days ending on Friday, compared with 302 added the week earlier.

Clarke County added 1,018 new vaccinations in the last seven days, compared with 836 a week earlier.

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 38.7 percent of its population fully vaccinated on Friday. That figure had been 38.0 on July 23.

Only six states, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Wyoming, Louisiana, and Idaho, have lower percentages.

Nationally, the percentage of persons fully vaccinated was 49.5 on Friday.

The figure is 67.5 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, 57.9 percent of the population 12 or older is vaccinated.

That figure is 45.7 percent in Georgia, the eighth lowest among the states.

Once again, Vermont has the highest vaccination rate for those 12 plus in age at 76.4percent.

The CDC does not report the percent of population fully vaccinated by age group for counties.

Department Of Public Health Age Data

The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that 17.8 percent of those 10 to 14 in Oconee County have at last one dose of the vaccine, and 45.3 percent of those 15 to 19 have at least one dose.

The computation should be treated as approximations.

The Department of Public Health is reporting that 100 percent of those in three age groups in the county–65 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 plus--have at least one dose of a vaccine.

What this means is that the number of persons with at lease one vaccination recorded for those age groups exceeds the estimates of the number of county residents in those age groups.

More than likely, those population estimates are incorrect.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You do such a great job, Lee, in pointing out the errors and inconsistencies in the data the state reports. It is too bad that the low vaccination rates in the region are leaving us with a COVID resurgence. I am glad I am no longer a parent of a school aged child.

Jeanne Barsanti