The 10 county Northeast Health District added 1,271 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Friday and three new confirmed deaths from the disease.
The 1,371 added cases of COVID-19 and three deaths compare with the 837 new cases and one confirmed death added in the week ending July 30.
The average of 195.9 new cases per day for the week ending on Friday compares with the average of 119.6 new cases per day for the week ending on July 30.
Oconee County added 65 cases in the week ending on Friday, and Clarke County added 275.
In the week ending on July 30, Oconee County added 68 cases and Clarke County added 173.
The seven-day rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday per 100,000 population was 22.9, and it was 30.2 in Clarke County.
A week ago those rolling averages also had been 22.9 in Oconee County and had been 19.5 in Clarke County.
The unstandardized rolling average in Oconee County on Friday was 9.6 cases, compared with 39.1 cases in Clarke County. Those figures had been 9.3 in Oconee County and 25.1 in Clarke County a week earlier.
The unstandardized rolling average in Oconee County has not been at this level since the end of March. The unstandardized rolling average in Clarke County has not been this high since the middle of February.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to classify both Oconee and Clarke counties as having a “high” level of transmission.
|Click To Enlarge|
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 opened on Wednesday without a mask mandate or even recommendation that masks be worn.
While last year, Oconee County Schools produced a report each Friday to inform the parents and the public at large of the status of COVID-19 cases and quarantines in the schools, it did not produce a report on Friday and has indicated it will not produce weekly reports in the future.
Two of the three confirmed COVID-19 deaths were in Greene County, just to the south of Oconee, and the third was in Oglethorpe, to the east of Oconee County.
The deaths bring to 56 the number of Greene County, to 31 the number of Oglethorpe County, and to 951 the number in the 10-county Northeast Health District. These counts back to February of 2020, when the COVID-19 epidemic began in the area.
The Northeast Health District had 95 “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, Hospital Reports
The University of Georgia on Wednesday, in its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Update, reported 38 positive COVID-19 tests.
The University had reported 11 positive COVID-19 tests last week. The University still is not in session.
The University reported that 183 walk-in tests were performed on individuals at the University Health Center in the week ending July 30, up from 156 a week earlier, and four of the tests came back positive.
The positivity rate for the walk-in tests was 2.2, compared with 1.3 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 98, the number of ICU beds in use was 68, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 44.
On Friday a week earlier, the number of COVID-19 patients was 65, the number of ICU beds in use was 58, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 37.
The listed number of available ICU beds is 70, though the hospitals expanded that number last year as the demand increased.
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.
According to the raw data behind the Department of Public Health Vaccine Distribution Dashboard for Friday, 38.6 percent of the residents of the Northeast Health District had at least one dose of a vaccine on Friday and 35.1 percent were fully vaccinated.
Last week, those figures were only slightly lower--38.0 with at least one dose and 34.9 fully vaccinated.
In the 10-county Northeast Health District, Oconee County continues to have the highest rate of residents with at least one dose (50.8 percent) and the highest percentage fully vaccinated (47.1 percent).
Clarke County has 42.0 percent of its residents with at least one dose and 38.5 percent fully vaccinated.
The figures are only slightly changed from a week ago, when Oconee County had 50.2 percent of its residents with at least one dose and 46.7 percent fully vaccinated.
A week ago, 41.5 percent of Clarke County’s residents had at least one dose of the vaccines, and 38.2 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 51.5 percent of its population fully vaccinated, and Clarke County has 39.6 percent of its population fully vaccinated.
This slightly higher figure is frequently cited because it is the one being reported on the Department of Public Health Vaccine Distribution Dashboard.
Oconee County added 407 new vaccinations in the last seven days ending on Friday, compared with 374 added the week earlier.
Clarke County added 1,027 new vaccinations in the last seven days, compared with 1,018 a week earlier.
Department Of Public Health Age Vaccination Data
The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that 18.9 percent of those 10 to 14 in Oconee County have at last one dose of the vaccine, and 46.8 percent of those 15 to 19 have at least one dose.
These figures are likely to be overestimations.
The population projection being used for Oconee County for the Vaccine Distribution Dashboard is only 37,324.
In the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report, the population estimate used for Oconee County is 41,737.
If the age distribution for the 37,324 estimate is extended to the 41,737 estimate, 16.8 percent of those 10 to 14 are vaccinated, and 41.8 percent of those 15 to 19 are vaccinated.
Both the 37,324 population projection and the 41,737 population projection are just that–projections.
The 37,324 is almost certainly too low, as reflected in the calculation that all residents of three age categories (65 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 plus) have been vaccinated if this figure is used.
If the 41,737 figure is used, only all of the 75 to 84 age group has received one dose of the vaccine.
Even this level of vaccination seems unlikely.
New Census Bureau data at the county level are scheduled to be released for 2020 on Thursday.
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 39.1 percent of its population fully vaccinated on Friday. That figure had been 38.7 on July 30.
Only six states, Alabama, Mississippi, Wyoming, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Idaho, have lower percentages.
Nationally, the percentage of persons fully vaccinated was 50.0 on Friday.
The figure is 67.8 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, 58.5 percent of the population 12 or older is vaccinated.
That figure is 46.1 percent in Georgia, the eighth lowest among the states.
Once again, Vermont has the highest vaccination rate for those 12 plus in age at 76.8 percent.
The CDC does not report the percent of population fully vaccinated by age group for counties.