Monday, August 23, 2021

School Age Population Accounts For Most Of Increase In COVID-19 Cases In Oconee County

***Large Increases Since Classes Started***

Forty-seven of the 153 new cases of COVID-19 added in Oconee County in the week ending on Aug. 19 were for persons aged 5 to 17.

Eight of the added cases were for persons aged 18 to 22, and seven were for children aged 0 to 4.

The remaining 81 cases were for those 23 years old and older.

Persons aged 5 to 17 make up an estimated 20.8 percent of the population in Oconee County, but they accounted for 30.7 percent of the added cases of COVID 19 in the week ending on Aug. 19.

The number of added cases of COVID-19 among those aged 23 or more increased by four in the last week, while the number of cases of the disease among those aged 5 to 17 increased by 22.

Classes started at Oconee County Schools on Aug. 4, and since Aug. 5 the percentage of cases for persons aged 5 to 17 in the county increased from 19.3 to the 30.7.

The Georgia Department of Public Health releases data on COVID-19 cases broken down by school age only weekly, and the most recent data were released on Saturday.

School Age Data

Oconee County Schools on Friday reported 71 active cases of COVID-19 in the system’s 11 schools, the highest number ever recorded going back to the beginning of the last school year.

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The previous high number had been 48 cases a week earlier.

Data released to parents after the parents filed open records requests showed that Oconee County Schools already this year has recorded 100 cases of COVID-19, all but six of them among students.

The highest number of active cases last academic year was 40 on Jan. 15.

While cases in the county as a whole also are increasing, they have not yet reached the level of the early part of last year, suggesting that cases are more concentrated at present among the school aged part of the population.

An analysis of the school age data confirms this change.

Comparison With January

From Jan. 21 to Jan. 28, Oconee County added 150 cases of COVID-19, or nearly the same as the 153 cases added from Aug 12 to Aug. 19.

Of those added cases, 105, or 70.0 percent, were for persons 23 years old and older. Of the added cases from Aug. 12 to Aug. 19, 81, or 52.9 percent, were for persons 23 years old or older.

The number of added cases for those 5 to 17 was 28 (18.7 percent) in the week ending on Jan. 28. It was 47 (30.7 percent) in the week ending on Aug. 19.

The number of cases of COVID-19 increased from 26 to 28 from Jan. 21 to Jan. 28, while it was dropping overall from 227 cases to 150.

So the number of school-age cases in the 5 to 17 age group slowed down the overall decline in cases in late January.

In the last two weeks, as cases have been increasing just slightly among those 23 years old and older, the jump in cases among those 5 to 17 years old has pushed up the overall increase greatly.

Data Match

It is not possible to match the data released by Oconee County Schools with the data released by the Department of Public Health in its school age data files because of differences in the ways cases are dated.

Oconee County Schools lists a report date of Aug. 5 to 11 for 35 cases involving students in the records released to parents and of Aug. 12 to Aug. 18 period for 54 students.

The Department of Public Health school data files contain data ending two days before its release date, the main data file on COVID-19 cases indicates.

The data released to parents by Oconee County Schools and the data released by the Department of Public Health both show increases in cases in the school-age population.

The Department of Public Health is estimating on Monday (Aug. 23) that 20.9 percent of those aged 10 to 14 in Oconee County have received one dose of the vaccine for COVID-19, and 50.5 percent of those 15 to 19 have received one dose. No age data for full vaccination are being released.

The data are only rough estimates, as is illustrated by the report that 100 percent of the population aged 65 and older has had one dose of the vaccine.

At present, the vaccine is not approved for anyone under 12 years of age.

1 comment:

Clambo said...

Lee, thank you so much for all of your hard work and keeping us informed on so many issues. I especially appreciate the Covid 19 updates as school begins. Hopefully somewhere, somehow your fact based statistics will encourage more people to trust the science behind the wisdom of vaccination. Thank you, LeeAnn Mitchell.