The 10-county Northeast Health District added 1,367 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Friday, down from 1,904 a week earlier, and 27 new confirmed deaths from the disease, down from 35 last week.
Five of the confirmed deaths were in Clarke County.
The average number of added cases in the District was 195.3 per day, compared with 272.0 per day in the week ending Sept. 24.
This is the fourth week in a row that the average number of cases per day has dropped.
Oconee County added 83 cases in the week ending on Friday, down from 135 on Friday of last week.
Clarke County added 236 new cases on Friday, down from 365 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 29.7. It was 25.6 in Clarke County.
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A week ago those rolling averages had been 46.1 in Oconee County and 40.4 in Clarke County.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday was 12.4. down from 18.6 a week earlier.
In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases on Friday was 33.0, down from 52.7 a week earlier.
The Clarke County deaths were of a 54-year-old female, a 57-year-old male, a 62-year-old male, a 69-year-old male, and a 75-year-old male. Only the 69-year-old and the 75-year-old had chronic conditions.
One death previously listed in Clarke County–of a 28-year-old male with no chronic condition–was removed from the list of Clarke County confirmed COVID-19 deaths, bringing to 160 the number of deaths in the county attributed to the disease.
The death of a 23-year-old male without a chronic condition was removed from the list of confirmed deaths in Oconee County attributed to COVID-19, bringing to 70 the number of confirmed deaths from the disease in the county.
The remaining 22 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the last week were in Barrow (1), Elbert (1), Greene (2), Jackson (3), Oglethorpe (2), and Walton (13) counties.
The Northeast Health District now has recorded 1,106 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in February of 2020.
The Northeast Health District had 104 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, up from 101 a week earlier. Morgan County added one “probable death” and Walton County added two.
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 338 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 eighth full week of classes on Sept. 27, the number of reported cases had been 324, up by 33 from Sept. 20. Oconee County Schools added only 14 cases in the last 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 26 Active COVID-19 Cases, down from 36 the week earlier.
The data released to the parents on Thursday shows the drop in cases is attributed to 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.
Most students are not eligible for vaccinations. Oconee County Schools does not release data on the percentage of its staff that is 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 Sept. 30, according to the School Aged COVID-19 Surveillance Data released by the Department of Public Health on Friday.
The report showed an increase of 89 cases across all age groups, with three of them for children under five years of age, none of them for persons aged 18 to 22 (one case was removed), and the remaining 71 for those persons 23 years old and older.
The percentages of added cases that were for persons 5 to 17 years old was 18.0, down from 26.1 the week earlier.
The percentage of cases for those 23 years old or older increased to 79.8 from 67.2 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 8.0 percent, down from 13.4 percent on Friday of last week.
In Clarke County on Friday, the seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate of PCR tests was 8.5, down from 10.2 on Sept. 24.
University, Hospital Reports
The University of Georgia on Wednesday, in its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Updates, reported 91 positive COVID-19 tests.
The report covered the period of Sept. 20 to 26.
The University had reported 82 positive COVID-19 tests for Sept. 13 to 19, in its revised counts.
The University reported that 1,158 walk-in tests were performed on individuals by the University Health Center, down from 1,188 a week earlier, and 19 of the tests last week came back positive.
The positivity rate for the walk-in tests was 1.6 percent, compared with 0.7 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 151, down from 205 a week earlier.
The number of ICU beds in use was 71, compared with 72 a week earlier, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 52, up from 50 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.
According to the raw data behind the Department of Public Health Vaccine Distribution Dashboard for Friday, 44.7 percent of the residents of the Northeast Health District had at least one dose of a vaccine and 40.6 percent were fully vaccinated.
Those percentages hardly moved from the week before. Last week, those figures were 44.4 percent with at least one dose of the vaccine and 40.0 percent fully vaccinated.
In Oconee County, 56.2 percent of the population has at least one dose and 52.3 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures had been 56.0 percent and 51.8 percent last week.
In Clarke County, 47.0 percent of the population has as least one dose and 43.1 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures were 46.7 percent and 42.6 percent last week.
The Northeast Health District added only 6,859 vaccinations in the week ending on Friday, compared with 8,820 added in the week ending on Sept. 24, and 10,445 in the week ending Sept. 17
Oconee County added 634 new vaccinations in the last seven days ending on Friday, compared with 633 added the week earlier.
Clarke County added 1,909 new vaccinations in the last seven days, compared with 1,708 a week earlier.
Oconee and Clarke counties were the only counties in the 10-county Northeast Health District to add more vaccinations in the week ending on Friday than in the week ending on Sept. 24.
The Department of Public Health is not providing data on the number of added vaccination that are boosters.
State, National Comparisons
Georgia, with 45.4 percent of its population fully vaccinated, ranks seventh 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 55.7 percent.
At present, the vaccine is being administered only to those 12 years old and older.
Nationally, 65.1 percent of the population 12 or older is vaccinated.
That figure is 53.7 percent in Georgia.
ADDENDUM 10/2/2021 9:45 A.M.
The Athens Banner-Herald this morning contains a story at the top of page 1 which states that Gov. Brian Kemp "touted new state Department of Public Health figures that, he said, show more than 53 percent of Georgians are fully vaccinated. He also said more than 64 percent of Georgians have received at least one shot."
As of this morning, the Department of Public Health web site states that 48 percent of the residents of the state are fully vaccinated and 54 percent have at least one dose.
The data are labeled as of 8:43 a.m. on Oct. 1.
The difference between the Department of Public Health (DPH) 48 percent fully vaccinated and the CDC 45.4 percent I reported results from two sources.
DPH counts the number of fully vaccinated individuals as 4,947,667 and divides that by a population estimate of 10,307,640.
The CDC counts the number of fully vaccinated at 4,824,114 and divides that by a population estimate of 10,625,802.
The U.S. Census Bureau count for the population of the state in 2020 was 10,711,908, which means, regardless of whether the DPH or the CDC count of vaccinated individuals is correct, the percentage figures are in both cases too high.
None of this explains where Gov. Kemp gets his figures or why the reporter did not refer to the either the DPH or CDC figures in the story.