The 10-county Northeast Health District added 539 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Friday, and six new confirmed deaths from the disease.
One of those added deaths was of a 79-year-old female in Clarke County without a chronic condition.
The average number of added cases in the week ending on Friday was 77.0, compared with the average in the two weeks ending on Dec. 3 of 59.7.
The Department of Public Health did not release a Daily Status Report on the day after Thanksgiving.
The data from recent weeks indicate that the number of cases of COVID-19 is again on the increase.
Oconee County added 34 new cases in the week ending on Friday, compared 62 in the two weeks prior to Dec. 3.
Clarke County added 109 new cases in the week ending on Friday, compared with 120 in the two weeks ending on Dec. 3.
The seven-day rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday per 100,000 population was 10.6, and it was 11.7 in Clarke County.
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Last week those rolling averages had been 9.6 in Oconee County and 6.2 in Clarke County.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday was 4.4, compared with 4.1 on Friday of last week.
In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases on Friday was 15.0, compared with 8.1 on Friday of last week.
The Clarke County death brings to 179 the number of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the county since the outbreak of the pandemic in February of 2020.
The remaining confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the Northeast Health District in the last week were in Barrow (1), Greene (1), Jackson (1), Madison (1), and Walton (1) counties.
The Northeast Health District now has recorded 1,264 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Northeast Health District had 120 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, the same number as a week earlier.
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 413 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 17th full week of classes on Dec. 6, the number of reported cases had been 410, up by one from Nov. 29.
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 four Active COVID-19 Cases, compared with one case a week ago.
School Age Data, Test Positivity Rates
Oconee County added four cases among those aged 5 to 17 in the week ending at the beginning of the day on Dec. 9, according to the School Aged COVID-19 Surveillance Data released by the Department of Public Health on Friday.
The report showed an addition of 25 cases across all age groups, with five of them for children under five years of age, one for persons 18 to 22, and 15 of the cases were those persons 23 years old and older.
The percentages of added cases that were for persons 5 to 17 years old was 16.0, down from 19.1 percent 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 3.3 percent on Friday, down from 7.3 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, the same as on Dec. 3.
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 19 in the revised report for the previous week.
The report covered the period of Nov. 29 to Dec. 3.
The University reported that 373 walk-in tests were performed on individuals by the University Health Center, up from 282 a week earlier, and two of the tests last week came back positive.
The positivity rate for the walk-in tests was 0.5 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 45, up sharply from the 34 reported a week earlier.
The number of ICU beds in use was 63, down from 65 last week, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 30, down from 30 a week earlier.
The listed number of available ICU beds at area hospitals is 70.
According to the raw data behind the Department of Public Health Vaccine Distribution Dashboard for Friday, 46.7 percent of the residents of the Northeast Health District had at least one dose of a vaccine and 43.2 percent were fully vaccinated.
Those percentages were changed just slightly from a week ago, when 46.5 percent of the residents of the district had at least one dose of the vaccine and 42.8 percent were fully vaccinated.
In Oconee County, 58.9 percent of the population has at least one dose in Friday’s report, and 55.1 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures had been 58.7 percent and 54.5 percent a week ago.
In Clarke County, 49.5 percent of the population has as least one dose and 45.8 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures were 49.3 percent and 45.2 percent last week.
The Department of Public Health has now begun releasing data on the number of persons with a booster vaccination.
In the Northeast Health District as a whole, 11.9 percent of the population has received a booster. Those figures are 17.4 percent in Oconee County and 14.6 percent in Clarke County.
Oconee County leads the Northeast Health District in the percentage of the population with at least one dose, the percentage fully vaccinated, and the percentage with a booster.
The percentages reported here differ from those on the Vaccine Dashboard because the Department of Public Health uses old projections--and lower numbers--for the populations of the counties.
The Department of Public Health reported adding 11,367 vaccinations administered in the Northeast Health District in the week ending on Friday.
Oconee County added 1,194 vaccinations in the last week, and Clarke County added 3,281.
Because the Department of Public Health did not report data for the Friday after Thanksgiving, it isn’t possible to compare the number of vaccines administered last week with the number added in the previous week.
The Department of Public Health is not providing data on the number of added vaccination that are boosters.
Given the small changes in the number of persons who are fully vaccinated, it seems likely that most of the added administered vaccinations are boosters.
State, National Comparisons
Georgia, with 49.9 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 60.6 percent.
Until recently, the vaccine was being administered only to those 12 years old and older.
Nationally, 71.9 percent of the population 12 or older is vaccinated.
That figure is 58.5 percent in Georgia.