Friday, August 27, 2021

COVID-19 Cases Continue To Increase In Oconee, Clarke, Across Northeast Health District; Oconee School Cases Increase Again

***Hospitals Report Jump In Cases, More ICU Bed Use***

The 10-county Northeast Health District added 3,218 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Friday and 12 new confirmed deaths from the disease.

One of the confirmed deaths was in Oconee County, and another was in Clarke County.

The 3,218 added cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths compare with the 2,558 new cases and six confirmed deaths added in the week ending Aug. 20.

The average number of added cases in the District was 459.7 per day, compared with 365.4 per day in the week ending Aug. 20.

Oconee County added 212 cases in the week ending on Friday, compared with 168 on Friday of last week.

Clarke County added 679 new cases on Friday, compared with 466 on Friday of last week.

Rolling Averages

The seven-day rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday per 100,000 population, based on the 2020 Census figures, was 72.5, and it was 76.3 in Clarke County.

A week ago those rolling averages had been 54.7 in Oconee County and 51.4 in Clarke County.

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The unstandardized rolling average in Oconee County on Friday was 30.3, up from 23.0 a week earlier.

In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average on Friday was 98.1, up from 65.9 a week earlier.

This is the highest the rolling average has been since Jan. 20, 2021, in Oconee County and since Jan. 17, 2021, in Clarke County.

The Oconee County death was of an 85-year-old male with a chronic condition. The death brings to 68 the number in the county since the beginning of the pandemic in February of 2020.

The Clarke County death was of a 68-year-old female without a chronic condition. That death brings to 146 the number of deaths in the county since the onset of the pandemic.

Thee of the added new confirmed deaths were in Barrow County, three were in Jackson County, and four were in Walton County.

The Northeast Health District now has recorded 974 deaths from COVID-19. 

The Northeast Health District had 96 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, up from 95 a week earlier. The new added “probable” deaths from the disease was in Elbert County.

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

Oconee County Schools, School Age Data

Oconee County Schools reported 76 Active COVID-19 Cases at the end of the day on Friday, the largest number ever recorded in the Friday report going back to the beginning of last school year.

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The old record was 71 cases last Friday.

Last school year, Oconee County Schools reported 40 cases once and 28 cases twice.

The system ended the school year with 0 Active Cases.

As of the beginning of classes on Monday morning, Oconee County Schools had recorded 118 cases for the school year, up from 62 at the beginning of classes a week earlier, according to internal data records.

Oconee County Schools is providing only the number of active cases at the end of the school week, but parents, who have organized the Safety First Facebook Group , are filing open records requests for the internal school reports twice each week.

The group is forwarding to me the raw data provided by the Oconee County Schools shortly after it received the records.

At the start of the first full week of classes on Aug. 9, Oconee County Schools had recorded only 10 cases.

Oconee County Schools added 52 cases in its first full week of classes and 56 in its second.

Oconee County overall saw in increase of 66 cases among those aged 5 to 17 in the week ending at on Aug. 26, according to the School Aged COVID-19 Surveillance Data released by the Department of Public Health on Friday.

The report showed an increase of nine cases for children under five years of age, an increase of 18 for persons aged 18 to 22, and an increase of 112 for those persons 23 years old and older. 

The percentage of added cases that were for persons 5 to 17 years old increased from 30.7 in the week ending on Aug. 19 to 32.2 percent in the week ending on Aug. 26.

In neighboring Clarke County, the percentage of added cases that were for persons 5 to 17 years old dropped from 22.2 to 21.2 during that week The percent that were university aged 18 to 22 increased from 15.6 to 25.5, as the University of Georgia has begun classes.

In Barrow County, the percentage of added cases that was 5 to 17 years old increased from 29.0 to 32.6, or a change very similar to that in Oconee County.

University, Hospital Reports

The University of Georgia on Wednesday, in its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Updates, reported 231 positive COVID-19 tests.

The report covered the period of Aug.16 to Aug. 22.

The University had reported 104 positive COVID-19 tests on Aug. 15, the final week before classes started, according to revised figures released on Wednesday.

The University reported that 938 walk-in tests were performed on individuals at the University Health Center, up from 384 a week earlier, and 40 of the tests last week came back positive.

The positivity rate for the walk-in tests was 4.3, compared with 3.1 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 245, up from 208 a week earlier.

The number of ICU beds in use was 74, up from 73 a week earlier, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 67, up from 62 a week earlier.

Area hospitals have not reported this number of COVID-19 patients since Jan. 27 of this year.

Area hospitals last reported 74 ICU beds in use on Feb. 10 of this year.

The listed number of available ICU beds is 70, though the hospitals expanded that number last year as the demand increased and have done so again this year.

Vaccine Updates

According to the raw data behind the Department of Public Health Vaccine Distribution Dashboard for Friday, 41.4 percent of the residents of the Northeast Health District had at least one dose of a vaccine on Friday and 36.8 percent were fully vaccinated.

Last week, those figures were 40.8 percent with at least one dose of the vaccine and 36.2 percent fully vaccinated.

In Oconee County, 53.5 percent of the population has at least one dose and 48.7 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures had been 52.9 percent and 48.1 percent last week.

In Clarke County, 44.5 percent of the population has as least one dose and 40.3 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures were 44.0 percent and 39.8 percent last week.

Vaccine Administrations

These percentages for Oconee and Clarke counties are different from those shown on the Vaccine Distribution Dashboard.

I have used the population figures from the release of the U.S. Census Bureau for 2020.

The Vaccine Dashboard continues to use old population estimates, which are much below the new counts for Oconee County.

The Northeast Health District added 6,899 vaccinations in the week ending on Friday, compared with 9,310 added in the week ending on Aug. 20.

Oconee County added 607 new vaccinations in the last seven days ending on Friday, compared with 816 added the week earlier.

Clarke County added 1,434 new vaccinations in the last seven days, compared with 2,008 a week earlier.

State, National Comparisons

Georgia, with 40.9 percent of its population fully vaccinated, ranks seventh from the bottom among the 50 states, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

Nationally, the percentage of persons fully vaccinated was 52.0 on Friday.

At present, the vaccine is being administered only to those 12 years old and older.

Nationally, 60.8 percent of the population 12 or older is vaccinated.

That figure is 48.3 percent in Georgia.


Rosemary Woodel said...

Wow! Thank you so much for your thorough report. I now live in Clarke Co so I'm grateful you include data for Athens also.

Unknown said...

Thank you again, Lee, for all your hard work.

Now that boosters are being administered, do you see any data on how many vaccines being administered are third doses? I could not find it anywhere on the public health state website. It seems like this will confuse the numbers, if not broken out from the total.

I ask because, since the Pfizer vaccine received full approval, I note a consistent stream of older folks getting their boosters at CVS, since many older people are now over 6 months since their second dose.

Again, thank you.

Jeanne Barsanti

Lee Becker said...

So far, there are no such data on the DPH site. I will watch for them.