The 10-county Northeast Health District added 959 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Friday, down from 1,367 a week earlier, and 37 new confirmed deaths from the disease, up from 25 last week.
Four of the confirmed deaths were in Clarke County.
The average number of added cases in the District was 137.0 per day, compared with 195.3 per day in the week ending Oct. 1.
This is the fifth week in a row that the average number of cases per day has dropped.
Oconee County added 76 cases in the week ending on Friday, down from 83 on Friday of last week.
Clarke County added 161 new cases on Friday, down from 236 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 24.6, and it was 17.0 in Clarke County.
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A week ago those rolling averages had been 29.7 in Oconee County and 25.6 in Clarke County.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday was 10.3, down from 12.6 a week earlier.
In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases on Friday was 21.9. down from 33.3 a week earlier.
The Clarke County deaths were of a 72 year old female, a 73-year-old male, and two 90-plus-year old females. Only the 73-year-old male had a chronic condition.
The four deaths bring to 164 the number in Clarke County attributed to COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic in February of 2020.
The remaining 33 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the last week were in Barrow (6), Elbert (1), Jackson (8), Madison (2), Morgan (2), and Walton County (14).
The Northeast Health District now has recorded 1,143 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
The 37 recorded deaths for the week ending on Friday is the largest weekly total since I changed from daily to weekly reports on COVID in the Northeast Health District on April 30 of this year.
Deaths are a lagging indicator of the spread of the disease.
The Northeast Health District had 107 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, up from 104 a week earlier. Barrow County added one “probable death.” Elbert County added one, and Walton County added one.
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 354 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 ninth full week of classes on Oct. 4, the number of reported cases had been 342, up by 18 from Sept. 27. Oconee County Schools added 12 cases in the four days ending on Thursday.
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 19 Active COVID-19 Cases, down from 26 the week earlier and the fewest number of cases reported this school year.
The data released to the parents on Thursday show the drop in cases results from decreased cases involving students.
During the Sept. 17 to Sept. 23 period, Oconee County Schools recorded 32 cases, 26 of them involving students. Staff cases totaled six.
During the Sept. 24 to Sept. 30 period, Oconee County Schools recorded 22 cases, 16 of them were students. Staff cases were six.
During the Oct. 1 to Oct. 7 period, Oconee County Schools recorded 16 cases, 13 of them were students. Staff cases were three.
Most students are not eligible for vaccinations. Oconee County Schools does not release data on the percentages of its students or staff that are vaccinated.
School Age Data, Test Positivity Rates
Oconee County overall added 16 cases among those aged 5 to 17 in the week ending at the beginning of the day on Oct 7, according to the School Aged COVID-19 Surveillance Data released by the Department of Public Health on Friday.
The report showed an addition of 67 cases across all age groups, with four of them for children under five years of age, two of them for persons aged 18 to 22, and the remaining 45 for those persons 23 years old and older.
The percentages of added cases that were for persons 5 to 17 years old was 23.9, up from 18.0 the week earlier.
The percentage of cases for those 23 years old or older decreased to 67.2 from 79.8 the week earlier.
These figures are based on the rapid 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 23.0 percent, up from 10.0 percent on Friday of last week.
In Clarke County on Friday, the seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate of PCR tests was 8.5, down from 9.7 on Oct. 1.
University, Hospital Reports
The University of Georgia on Wednesday, in its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Updates, reported 47 positive COVID-19 tests.
The report covered the period of Sept. 27 to Oct. 1.
The University had reported 95 positive COVID-19 tests for Sept. 20 to 26, in its revised counts.
The University reported that 843 walk-in tests were performed on individuals by the University Health Center, down from 1,158 a week earlier, and nine of the tests last week came back positive.
The positivity rate for the walk-in tests was 1.1 percent, compared with 1.6 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 129, down from 151 a week earlier.
The number of ICU beds in use was 73, compared with 71 a week earlier, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 57, up from 52 a week earlier.
The listed number of available ICU beds at area hospitals is 70, and the hospitals expand that number as demand increases.
According to the raw data behind the Department of Public Health Vaccine Distribution Dashboard for Friday, 45.2 percent of the residents of the Northeast Health District had at least one dose of a vaccine and 41.2 percent were fully vaccinated.
Those percentages hardly moved from the week before. Last week, those figures were 44.7 percent with at least one dose of the vaccine and 40.6 percent fully vaccinated.
In Oconee County, 56.6 percent of the population has at least one dose and 52.8 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures had been 56.2 percent and 52.3 percent last week.
In Clarke County, 47.4 percent of the population has as least one dose and 43.6 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures were 47.0 percent and 43.1 percent last week.
The Northeast Health District added 10,304 vaccinations in the week ending on Friday, compared with 6,859 added in the week ending on Oct. 1.
Oconee County added 957 new vaccinations in the last seven days ending on Friday, compared with 634 added the week earlier.
Clarke County added 2,680 new vaccinations in the last seven days, compared with 1,909 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 46.2 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 56.3 percent.
At present, the vaccine is being administered only to those 12 years old and older.
Nationally, 65.9 percent of the population 12 or older is vaccinated.
That figure is 54.5 percent in Georgia.