Friday, September 24, 2021

COVID-19 Confirmed Deaths Increase In Northeast Health District While Cases Drop Slightly

***Oconee County Reports Three Deaths From Disease***

The 10-county Northeast Health District added 1,904 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Friday, down from 2,115 a week earlier, and 35 new confirmed deaths from the disease, up from 27 last week.

Three of the confirmed deaths were in Oconee County, and two were in Clarke County. Each of the 10 counties in the District added at least one death.

The average number of added cases in the District was 272.0 per day, compared with 302.1 per day in the week ending Sept. 17.

This is the third week in a row that the average number of cases per day has dropped, though the drop was much smaller this week than the week before.

Oconee County added 135 cases in the week ending on Friday, up from 132 on Friday of last week.

Clarke County added 365 new cases on Friday, down from 372 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, was 46.1, and it was 40.4 in Clarke County

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A week ago those rolling averages had been 45.1 in Oconee County and 40.9 in Clarke County.

The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday was 19.3, up from 18.9 a week earlier.

In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases on Friday was 52.0, down from 52.6 a week earlier.

The Oconee County deaths were of a 69-year-old male, an 84-year female, and an 88-year-old female, all without a chronic condition.

The Clarke County deaths were of a 72-year-old male and a 78-year-old male, neither of whom had a chronic condition.

The deaths brings to 71 the number of confirmed deaths in Oconee County since the onset of the pandemic in February of 2020 and to 156 in Clarke County in that time period.

That represents 169.9 deaths per 100,000 population in Oconee County and 121.2 deaths per 100,000 population in Clarke County.

The remaining 30 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the last week were in Barrow (8), Elbert (1), Greene (2), Jackson (10), Madison (2), Morgan (3), Oglethorpe (1), and Walton (3) counties.

The Northeast Health District now has recorded 1,081 deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, or 203.9 deaths per 100,000 population.

Deaths are usually a lagging indicator of the pandemic.

The Northeast Health District had 101 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, up from 100 a week earlier. Walton County added one “probable death.”

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

Oconee County Schools

As of the end of classes on Thursday, Oconee County Schools had recorded 316 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the school year on Aug. 4, based on data released by the schools in response to open records requests filed by a group of parents.

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The parents are reporting the released data on the Safety First Facebook page, but they also have released the data to me for my own analysis.

As of the beginning of the seventh full week of classes on Sept. 20, the number of reported cases had been 291, up by 30 from Sept. 13.

The week before, Oconee County Schools had added 38 cases.

Oconee County Schools releases to the public only the number of Active Cases in the schools at the end of the class week.

In its report on Friday, Oconee County Schools reported 36 Active COVID-19 Cases, up from 33 the week earlier.

School Age Data, Test Positivity Rates

Oconee County overall added 35 cases among those aged 5 to 17 in the week ending at the beginning of the day on Sept. 23, according to the School Aged COVID-19 Surveillance Data released by the Department of Public Health on Friday.

The report showed an increase of 134 cases across all age groups, with three of them for children under five years of age, six of them for persons aged 18 to 22, and the remaining 90 for those persons 23 years old and older.

The percentages of added cases that were for persons 5 to 17 years old was 26.1, down slightly from 27.1 the week earlier.

The percentage of cases for those 23 years old or older increased to 67.2 from 59.3 the week earlier.

These figures are based on antigen and molecular tests results.

In Oconee County, the seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate of the molecular PCR test for COVID-19 was 13.2 percent, down from 15.4 percent on Friday of last week.

In Clarke County on Friday, the seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate of PCR tests was 11.4, down from 13.1 on Sept. 17.

University, Hospital Reports

The University of Georgia on Wednesday, in its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Updates, reported 77 positive COVID-19 tests.

The report covered the period of Sept. 13 to 19.

The University had reported 168 positive COVID-19 tests for Sept. 6 to 12, in its revised counts.

The University reported that 1,188 walk-in tests were performed on individuals by the University Health Center, down from 1,422 a week earlier, and eight of the tests last week came back positive.

The positivity rate for the walk-in tests was 0.7 percent, compared with 2.5 percent 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 205, down from 264 a week earlier.

The number of ICU beds in use was 72, up from 65 a week earlier, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 50, down from 54 a week earlier.

The report released by the Georgia Hospital Association shows a percentage figure for the ICU beds in use, and it is frequently reported in media accounts, but it is misleading.

The listed number of available ICU beds at area hospitals is 70, and the hospitals expand that number as demand increases.

Vaccine Updates

According to the raw data behind the Department of Public Health Vaccine Distribution Dashboard for Friday, 44.4 percent of the residents of the Northeast Health District had at least one dose of a vaccine and 40.0 percent were fully vaccinated.

Last week, those figures were 43.7 percent with at least one dose of the vaccine and 39.1 percent fully vaccinated.

In Oconee County, 56.0 percent of the population has at least one dose and 51.8 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures had been 55.6 percent and 51.0 percent last week.

In Clarke County, 46.7 percent of the population has as least one dose and 42.6 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures were 46.2 percent and 42.1 percent last week.

Vaccine Administrations

The Northeast Health District added 8,820 vaccinations in the week ending on Friday, compared with 10,445 added in the week ending on Sept. 17.

Oconee County added 633 new vaccinations in the last seven days ending on Friday, compared with 824 added the week earlier.

Clarke County added 1,708 new vaccinations in the last seven days, compared with 1,935 a week earlier.

These numbers have varied up and down in recent week, suggesting variations in reporting and relative stability in the number of added vaccinations.

The Department of Public Health is not providing data on the number of added vaccination that are boosters.

State, National Comparisons

Georgia, with 44.9 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 more than 10 percentage points higher on Friday at 55.1 percent.

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

Nationally, 64.5 percent of the population 12 or older is vaccinated.

That figure is 53.0 percent in Georgia.

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