Friday, November 19, 2021

Northeast Health District Has Increase In COVID-19 Cases In Last Week; Deaths From Disease Drop By One

***Oconee Cases Are Up; Clarke Cases Are Down***

The 10-county Northeast Health District added 415 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Friday, up from the 290 cases added a week earlier, and 10 new confirmed deaths from the disease, down from 11 added last week.

Two of the confirmed deaths in the last week were in Clarke County.

The average number of added cases in the District was 59.3 per day on Friday, up from 41.1 added cases per day for the week ending Nov. 12.

The increase in the average number of cases from the week before was for the second time in the last three weeks, suggesting a leveling off of what had been a steady drop in cases in the District.

Oconee County added 54 cases in the week ending on Friday, up from 29 on Friday of last week.

Clarke County added 67 new cases on Friday, down from 79 on Friday of last week.

Rolling Averages

The seven-day rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday per 100,000 population was 17.4, and it was 7.1 in Clarke County.

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A week ago those rolling averages had been 9.2 in Oconee County and 8.0 in Clarke County.

The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday was 7.3, compared with 4.0 a week earlier.

In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases on Friday was 9.1, compared with 10.1 a week earlier.

The Clarke County deaths added this week were of a 72-year-old female and an 81-year-old female, neither of whom had a chronic condition.

The deaths brings to 178 the number of confirmed deaths from the disease in Clarke County since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Clarke County has added at least one confirmed death from COVID every week since Aug. 27.

The remaining confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the Northeast Health District in the last week were in Barrow (1), Elbert (1), Jackson (3), Madison (1), and Walton (2) counties.

The Northeast Health District now has recorded 1,250 deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Northeast Health District had 119 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, an increase of two from the week earlier.

Morgan and Walton counties each reported a new “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 405 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 15th full week of classes on Nov. 15, the number of reported cases had been 400, up by 13 from Nov. 8. Oconee County Schools added five 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 eight Active COVID-19 Cases, down from 13 a week earlier.

Eight is the lowest number of cases reported on any week since the beginning of the school year. Oconee County Schools also had reported eight active cases on Oct. 29.

School Age Data, Test Positivity Rates

The Department of Public Health School Age Data Report last Friday did not list updated data for that week. That Report has now been corrected.

Oconee County overall added eight cases among those aged 5 to 17 in the week ending at the beginning of the day on Nov. 18, according to the School Aged COVID-19 Surveillance Data released by the Department of Public Health on Friday.

The report showed an addition of 49 cases across all age groups, with none of them for children under five years of age, 42 of he cases were those persons 23 years old and older.

The percentages of added cases that were for persons 5 to 17 years old was 16.3, up from 12.5 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 6.6 percent on Friday, up from 6.4 percent on Friday of last week.

In Clarke County on Friday, the seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate of PCR tests was 3.5 percent, down from 3.8 percent on Nov. 12.

University, Hospital Reports

The University of Georgia on Wednesday, in its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Updates, reported 29 positive COVID-19 tests, up from 23 in the previous week, based on updated figures.

The report covered the period of Nov. 8 to 14.

The University reported that 405 walk-in tests were performed on individuals by the University Health Center, down from 466 a week earlier, and four of the tests last week came back positive.

The positivity rate for the walk-in tests was 1.0 percent, compared with 0.6 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 33, down from 44 a week earlier.

The number of ICU beds in use was 62, down from 65 a week earlier, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 30, up from 30 a week earlier.

The listed number of available ICU beds at area hospitals is 70.

Vaccine Updates

The Department of Public Health on Friday released revised data on vaccinations in the state and in the Northeast Health District.

According to the raw data behind the Department of Public Health Vaccine Distribution Dashboard for Friday, 46.0 percent of the residents of the Northeast Health District had at least one dose of a vaccine and 42.3 percent were fully vaccinated.

Those percentages were lower than the week before. Last week, those figures were 46.7 percent with at least one dose of the vaccine and 42.9 percent fully vaccinated.

In Oconee County, 58.0 percent of the population has at least one dose in Friday’s report, and 53.8 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures had been 58.2 percent and 54.1 percent last week.

In Clarke County, 48.8 percent of the population has as least one dose and 44.6 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures were 49.0 percent and 45.0 percent last week.

These figures differ from those on the Vaccine Dashboard because the Department of Public Health uses old projections--and lower numbers--for the populations of the two counties.

The actual number of vaccines declined from last week, however, so the drop in percentages if not a result of revised computation.

Vaccine Administrations

The Department of Public Health reported subtracting 681 vaccinations in its list of administered vaccinations in the Northeast Health District in the week ending on Friday.

But the number of reported vaccines administered was positive in some counties, such as Oconee, where 397 were added, and Clarke, were 952 vaccinations were added.

The reported number for Walton County was 702 less than a week earlier.

The Department of Public Health is not providing data on the number of added vaccination that are boosters, and some of the confusion in reporting could result from that fact.

State, National Comparisons

Georgia, with 49.1 percent of its population fully vaccinated, ranks ninth 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 nearly 10 percentage points higher on Friday at 58.9 percent.

Until recently, the vaccine was being administered only to those 12 years old and older.

Nationally, 69.0 percent of the population 12 or older is vaccinated.

That figure is 58.0 percent in Georgia.

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