The 10 county Northeast Health District added 1,964 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Friday and five new confirmed deaths from the disease. Two of the deaths were in Clarke County.
The 1,964 added cases of COVID-19 and five deaths compare with the 1,371 new cases and three confirmed deaths added in the week ending Aug. 6.
The average of 280.6 new cases per day for the week ending on Friday compares with the average of 195.9 new cases per day for the week ending on Aug. 6.
Oconee County added 126 cases in the week ending on Friday, compared with 65 on Friday of last week.
Clarke County added 346 new cases on Friday, compared with 275 on Friday of last week.
The seven-day rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday per 100,000 population was 40.3, and it was 37.6 in Clarke County.
A week ago those rolling averages had been 22.9 in Oconee County and had been 30.4 in Clarke County.
(I have used the official population figures from the 2020 Census, released late on Thursday, for the calculations from both weeks.)
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The unstandardized rolling average in Oconee County on Friday was 16.9 cases, compared with 48.4 cases in Clarke County. Those figures had been 9.6 in Oconee County and 39.1 in Clarke County a week earlier.
This is the highest the rolling average has been since Feb. 2 in Oconee County and since Feb. 9 in Clarke County.
The deaths in Clarke County were of a 64-year-old female with a chronic condition and of an 85-year-old female, also with a chronic condition.
The deaths bring to 145 the number in Clarke County attributed to COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic in February of 2020.
The other three confirmed deaths in the Northeast Health District in the last week were in Jackson, Madison, and Walton counties.
The total number of deaths in the Northeast Health District attributed to COVID-19 now stands at 956.
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.
Oconee County Schools
The large increase in Oconee County cases–nearly double in cases per population–coincides with the opening of Oconee County Schools on Aug. 4.
Records released by Oconee County Schools in response to an open records request indicate that the first cases were reported at the schools on the morning of Aug. 5, and those first cases were based on tests starting on Aug. 2.
Every case reported to the schools from Aug. 6 on was based on tests on that date or later.
Oconee County Schools reported that it had 48 Active COVID-19 Cases as of he end of the day on Friday.
That is the largest number ever reported by Oconee County Schools going back to the beginning of last school year.
On Jan. 15, Oconee County Schools reported 40 Active Cases, but the number had been greater than 28 only one time the entire year.
The system ended the school year with 0 Active Cases.
University, Hospital Reports
The University of Georgia on Wednesday, in its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Updates, reported 54 positive COVID-19 tests.
The University had reported 39 positive COVID-19 tests last week.
The University reported that 410 walk-in tests were performed on individuals at the University Health Center, up from 183 a week earlier, and 10 of the tests last week came back positive.
The positivity rate for the walk-in tests was 2.4 in Wednesday's report, compared with 2.2 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 150, the number of ICU beds in use was 70, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 48.
On Friday a week earlier, the number of COVID-19 patients was 98, the number of ICU beds in use was 68, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 48.
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.
According to the raw data behind the Department of Public Health Vaccine Distribution Dashboard for Friday, 39.7 percent of the residents of the Northeast Health District had at least one dose of a vaccine on Friday and 35.6 percent were fully vaccinated.
Last week, those figures were 38.6 percent with at least one dose of the vaccine and 35.1 percent fully vaccinated.
In Oconee County, 51.8 percent of the population has at least one dose and 47.5 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures had been 50.8 percent and 47.1 percent last week.
In Clarke County, 43.2 percent of the population has as least one dose and 39.3 percent is 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 figures from the release of the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday evening.
The Vaccine Dashboard continues to use old population estimates, which are much below the new counts for Oconee County.
The Northeast Health District added 8,051 vaccinations in the week ending on Friday, compared with 4,697 added in the week ending on Aug. 6.
Oconee County added 608 new vaccinations in the last seven days ending on Friday, compared with 407 added the week earlier.
Clarke County added 1,603 new vaccinations in the last seven days, compared with 1,027 a week earlier.
State, National Comparisons
Georgia, with 39.4 percent of its population fully vaccinated, ranks eighth 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 50.5 on Friday.
At present, the vaccine is being administered only to those 12 years old and older.
Nationally, 59.1 percent of the population 12 or older is vaccinated.
That figure is 46.5 percent in Georgia.