The 10 county Northeast Health District added 3,331 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Friday and 24 new confirmed deaths from the disease.
Three of the confirmed deaths were in Clarke County.
The 3,331 added cases of COVID-19 and 24 deaths compare with the 3,218 new cases and 12 confirmed deaths added in the week ending Aug. 27.
The average number of added cases in the District was 475.9 per day for the week ending on Friday, compared with 459.7 per day in the week ending Aug. 27.
The increase in cases gives some hint that growth is leveling off. On Aug. 20, the average number of added cases that week was 365.4
The number of deaths, however, doubled from six for the week ending Aug. 20, to the 12 last week and again to the 24 for the week ending Friday.
Oconee County added 200 cases in the week ending on Friday, compared with 212 on Friday of last week.
Clarke County added 718 new cases on Friday, compared with 679 on Friday of last week.
The seven-day rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday per 100,000 population, based on the 2020 Census, was 68.3, and it was 80.2 in Clarke County.
A week ago those rolling averages had been 72.5 in Oconee County and 76.3 in Clarke County.
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The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday was 28.6, down from 30.4 a week earlier.
In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases on Friday was 103.1, up from 98.6 a week earlier, but down from 104.9 on Tuesday.
The Clarke County deaths were of a 31-year-old male without a chronic condition, a 54-year-old male with a chronic condition, and a 62-year-old female with a chronic condition.
The 31-year-old was the second youngest death from COVID-19 recorded in Clarke County.
Every county in the 10-county Northeast Health District had a confirmed COVID-19 death in the last week except Oconee County.
Barrow County had four, Elbert and Greene each had one, Jackson had six, Madison had three, Morgan and Oglethorpe each had one, and Walton had four.
Included in the Barrow County deaths is a 17-year-old male without a known chronic condition, and included in the Jackson County deaths is a 14-year-old female with a chronic condition.
The Northeast Health District now has recorded 998 deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
The three Clarke County deaths bring to 149 the number in that county since the beginning of February of 2020.
The Northeast Health District had 96 “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, School Age Data
As of the end of classes on Tuesday (Aug. 31), Oconee County Schools had recorded 206 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 fourth full week of classes on Aug. 30, the number of reported cases had been 182.
That number grew from 10 at the beginning of the first full week of classes to 62 a week later and 116 at the start of the third full week of classes.
Those are increases of 52, 54, and 66 cases per week.
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 57 Active COVID-19 Cases, down from 76 a week earlier. That count of 76 had been the highest ever recorded by Oconee County Schools.
Last school year, the system reported 40 active cases one time, and it has reported no fewer than 48 cases on each of the four reporting Fridays this school year.
Oconee County overall saw in increase of 41 cases among those aged 5 to 17 in the week ending at the beginning of the day on Sept. 2, according to the School Aged COVID-19 Surveillance Data released by the Department of Public Health on Friday.
The report showed an increase of 158 cases across all age groups, with seven of them for children under five years of age, nine of them for persons aged 18 to 22, and the remaining 101 for those persons 23 years old and older.
The percentages of added cases that were for persons 5 to 17 years old decreased from 32.2 in the week ending on Aug. 26 to 25.9 percent in the week ending on Sept. 2.
These figures are based on both antigen and molecular tests results.
The Department of Public Health releases another data set that shows only molecular test results.
Based on those data, the percentage of cases for those 5 to 17 dropped in the last week from 27.1 to 15.5.
The discrepancy more than likely reflects the use of the rapid antigen test in physician offices rather the more intrusive and slower molecular test.
University, Hospital Reports
The University of Georgia on Wednesday, in its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Updates, reported 457 positive COVID-19 tests.
The report covered the period of Aug.23 to Aug. 29.
The University had reported 231 positive COVID-19 tests on Aug. 22.
The University reported that 1,519 walk-in tests were performed on individuals at the University Health Center, up from 938 a week earlier, and 77 of the tests last week came back positive.
The positivity rate for the walk-in tests was 5.1, compared with 4.3 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 294, up from 245 a week earlier.
The number of ICU beds in use was 76, up from 74 a week earlier, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 67, the same as a week earlier.
Area hospitals have not reported this number of COVID-19 patients since Jan. 13 of this year.
The number of ICU beds in use at area hospitals has not been this high since Feb. 4.
The listed number of available ICU beds is 70, though the hospitals can and do expand that number as demand increases.
According to the raw data behind the Department of Public Health Vaccine Distribution Dashboard for Friday, 42.2 percent of the residents of the Northeast Health District had at least one dose of a vaccine and 37.6 percent were fully vaccinated.
Last week, those figures were 41.1 percent with at least one dose of the vaccine and 36.8 percent fully vaccinated.
In Oconee County, 54.3 percent of the population has at least one dose and 49.5 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures had been 53.5 percent and 48.7 percent last week.
In Clarke County, 45.0 percent of the population has as least one dose and 40.9 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures were 44.5 percent and 40.3 percent last week.
These percentages of persons vaccinated 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 9,425 vaccinations in the week ending on Friday, compared with 6,899 added in the week ending on Aug. 27.
Oconee County added 845 new vaccinations in the last seven days ending on Friday, compared with 607 added the week earlier.
Clarke County added 1,804 new vaccinations in the last seven days, compared with 1,434 a week earlier.
The Department of Public Health is not providing data on the number of added vaccination that are boosters.
State, National Comparisons
Georgia, with 42.1 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 52.9 on Friday.
At present, the vaccine is being administered only to those 12 years old and older.
Nationally, 61.9 percent of the population 12 or older is vaccinated.
That figure is 49.7 percent in Georgia.