The 10-county Northeast Health District added 4,644 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Friday, just more than three times the number added in the week ending on Dec. 24.
On Dec. 24, the number of cases had increased by just less than three times (2.8) over the week earlier.
The Northeast Health District added 11 deaths, compared with 13 a week earlier. One of those added deaths was of a 43-year-old woman in Clarke County without a chronic condition.
The number of COVID-19 patients at area hospital on Friday increased by 2.5 times over a week ago.
The average number of added cases per day in the week ending on Friday was 663.4, compared with 219.7 on Dec. 24.
Oconee County added 345 new cases in the week ending on Friday, compared with 118 new cases in the week ending on Dec. 24.
Clarke County added 1,178 new cases in the week ending on Friday, compared with 440 new cases in the week last Friday.
The seven-day rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday per 100,000 population was 119.6, and it was 133.2 in Clarke County.
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Last week those rolling averages had been 40.0 in Oconee County and 50.3 in Clarke County.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday was 50.0, compared with 16.6 on Friday of last week.
The 50.0 rolling average was exceeded only twice in Oconee County in 2021, on Jan. 3 (50.4) and Jan. 4 (50.3).
Those two seven day rolling averages are the highest ever recorded in Oconee County going back the beginning of the records for the pandemic on Feb. 1, 2020.
In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases on Friday was 171.4, compared with 64.9 on Friday of last week.
That average greatly exceeds the seven day rolling average on Jan. 13 of 122.7, the highest number recorded in 2021. Clarke County recorded its record number of cases of 175.0 on Sept. 6, 2020.
Rolling averages for the 10-county Northeast Health District as a whole are not reported by the Department of Public Health, and I no longer record those figures on a daily basis.
Deaths From Disease
The added confirmed death in Clarke County brings to 181 the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the county since the outbreak of the pandemic in February of 2020.
The other confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the Northeast Health District in the last week were in Barrow (2), Jackson (3), Madison (2), Oglethorpe (1), and Walton (2) counties.
The Northeast Health District now has recorded 1,300 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Northeast Health District had 122 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, up one from the week before. The added "probable" death was in Madison County.
These data on cases and deaths are from the Friday Daily Status Report of the Department of Public Health.
Oconee County Schools, University, Hospital Reports
Oconee County Schools is not in session and released no report on COVID-19 cases on Friday.
Classes are scheduled to resume on Tuesday.
The University of Georgia also is not in session and did not release its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Updates on Wednesday.
University classes are scheduled to resume on Jan. 10.
The Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Friday that the number of COVID-19 patients at area hospitals was 125, up from 51 on Dec. 24.
The number of ICU beds in use was 62, up from 57 last Friday, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 34, down from 36 a week earlier.
The listed number of available ICU beds at area hospitals is 70.
School Age Data, Test Positivity Rates
Oconee County added 58 cases among those aged 5 to 17 in the two weeks ending at the beginning of the day on Dec. 30, according to the School Aged COVID-19 Surveillance Data released by the Department of Public Health on Friday.
The Department of Public Health released its data last week a day early, making comparisons with last week confounded.
The report released this week showed an addition of 327 cases across all age groups in the last two weeks, with nine of them for children under five years of age, 39 for persons 18 to 22, and 221 for those persons 23 years old and older.
The percentages of added cases that were for persons 5 to 17 years old was 17.7, down from 22.2 percent two weeks ago.
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 24.6 percent on Friday, up from 19.4 percent on Friday of last week.
In Clarke County on Friday, the seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate of PCR tests was 31.2 percent, up from 17.8 on Dec. 24.
The PCR test is considered to be more reliable than the antigen or rapid test.
According to the raw data behind the Department of Public Health Vaccine Distribution Dashboard for Friday, 47.4 percent of the residents of the Northeast Health District had at least one dose of a vaccine and 43.9 percent were fully vaccinated.
Those percentages were changed just slightly from a week ago, when 47.2 percent of the residents of the district had at least one dose of the vaccine and 43.7 percent were fully vaccinated.
In Oconee County, 59.8 percent of the population has at least one dose in Friday’s report, and 56.1 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures had been 59.4 percent and 55.8 percent a week ago.
In Clarke County, 50.2 percent of the population has as least one dose and 46.5 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures were 50.0 percent and 46.3 percent last week.
In the Northeast Health District as a whole, 14.5 percent of the population has received a booster. Those figures are 21.1 percent in Oconee County and 17.8 percent in Clarke County.
Of those who are fully vaccinated, 35.4 percent in the District have received a booster. Those figures are 40.2 percent in Oconee County and 40.6 percent in Clarke County.
Last week of those who are fully vaccinated, 33.3 percent had received a booster. Those figures were 37.9 percent in Oconee County and 38.4 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.