The 10-county Northeast Health District added 654 new cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days, or only just less than a 10th of the cases added in the week ending on Jan. 21, and down from 1,245 cases added last Friday.
The District, however, added 37 confirmed deaths from the disease, up from 28 last Friday and up from the 17 added on Friday four weeks ago. Deaths are a lagging indicator of the disease.
One of the confirmed deaths was in Oconee County and seven were in Clarke County.
The average number of added cases per day in the last seven days in the Northeast Health District was 93.4, compared with 177.9 in the seven days ending on Feb. 11.
Oconee County added 51 cases on Friday, compared with 89 new cases in the week ending on Feb. 11.
Clarke County added 137 new cases in the seven days ending on Friday, compared with 244 new cases in the week ending on Feb. 11.
The seven-day rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday per 100,000 population was 17.8, and it was 15.2 in Clarke County.
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On Feb. 11, those rolling averages had been 28.7 in Oconee County and 27.1 in Clarke County.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday was 7.4 compared with 12.1 on Friday of last week.
In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases on Friday was 19.6, compared with 35.1 on Friday of last week.
The unstandardized rolling averages now have fallen to just slightly higher than they were just before the recent surge in early December.
The Oconee County confirmed COVID-19 death was of an 81-year-old male without a chronic condition.
The Clarke County confirmed deaths were of a 59-year-old female without a chronic condition, a 63-year-old female without a chronic condition, a 65-year-old female without a known chronic condition, and a 73-year-old female without a chronic condition.
Also among the confirmed Clarke County COVID-19 deaths were an 83-year-old male without a known chronic condition, an 89-year-old male without a chronic condition, and an 89-year-old female without a chronic condition.
Oconee County now has 86 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, or 205.7 per 100,000 population, and Clarke County has 199 deaths, or 154.7 per 100,000 population.
The remaining 29 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the Northeast Health District in the last seven days were in Barrow (6), Elbert (2), Greene (1), Jackson (8), Madison (2), Morgan (3), and Walton (7) counties.
The Northeast Health District now has recorded 1,452 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, or 273.9 per 100,000 population.
The Northeast Health District had 137 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, up from 133 a week ago.
Elbert, Greene, Oglethorpe, and Walton counties each added one probable death in the seven days from last Friday.
No details are given of “probable” deaths.
Oconee County Schools
As of the end of classes on Thursday, Oconee County Schools had recorded 693 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 693 cases are an increase of only five cases from Thursday of last week. Last Thursday Oconee County Schools had added 10 cases from the week before.
Since the beginning of the school year on Jan. 4 year, Oconee County Schools has added 265 cases. It had recorded 428 cases in the first half of the school year through Dec. 28.
The parents are reporting the data released to them as a result of the open records requests on the Safety First Facebook page, but they also have released the data to me for my own analysis.
Of the five added cases from last Thursday through this Thursday, one was a staff member, which includes teachers, and four were students.
All five of the cases were at elementary schools.
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 three Active COVID-19 Cases, the same as the a week ago.
School Age Data, Test Positivity Rates
Oconee County added nine cases among those aged 5 to 17 in the week ending at the beginning of the day on Feb. 17, the same number as a week earlier, according to the School Aged COVID-19 Surveillance Data released by the Department of Public Health on Friday.
The report showed an addition of 60 cases across all age groups in the last week, with six of them for children under five years of age, two for persons 18 to 22, and 43 for those persons 23 years old and older.
The percentages of added cases that were for persons 5 to 17 years old was 15.0 on Feb. 17, compared with 8.1 percent a week earlier.
The percentage of cases for those 0 to 4 years old was 10.0 percent up from 4.5 percent a week earlier.
These cases are based on results of the rapid antigen and molecular tests.
In Oconee County, the seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate of the more robust molecular PCR test for COVID-19 was 13.5 percent, down from 17.8 on Friday of last week. The PCR test is considered to be the more reliable of the tests.
In Clarke County on Friday, the seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate of PCR tests was 9.6 percent, down from 13.4 on Friday of last week.
University, Hospital Reports
The University of Georgia on Wednesday, in its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Updates, reported 87 positive COVID-19 tests, down from 166 in the previous week, based on updated data.
The report on Wednesday covered the period of Feb. 7 to 13.
The University reported that 552 walk-in tests were performed on individuals by the University Health Center in the week ending on Feb. 13.
The positivity rate for the walk-in tests performed in the week ending on Feb. 13 was 3.6 percent, down from the 3.8 percent reported in the week ending Feb. 6.
The Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Friday that the number of COVID-19 patients at area hospitals was 95, down from 112 on Feb. 11.
The number of ICU beds in use was 61, down from 64 last Friday, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 44, up from 38 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, 48.5 percent of the residents of the Northeast Health District had at least one dose of a vaccine and 45.0 percent were fully vaccinated.
Those percentages were changed just slightly from a week ago, when 48.4 percent of the residents of the District had at least one dose of the vaccine and 44.9 percent were fully vaccinated.
In Oconee County, 60.7 percent of the population has at least one dose in Friday’s report, and 57.3 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures had been 60.6 percent and 57.1 percent a week ago.
In Clarke County, 51.2 percent of the population has as least one dose and 47.6 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures were 51.1 percent and 47.4 percent last week.
In the Northeast Health District as a whole, 19.3 percent of the population has received a booster. Those figures are 27.1 percent in Oconee County and 22.8 percent in Clarke County.
Of those who are fully vaccinated, 43.0 percent in the District have received a booster. Those figures are 47.4 percent in Oconee County and 48.0 percent in Clarke County.
Last week, of those who are fully vaccinated in the Northeast Heath District, 42.7 percent had received a booster. Those figures were 47.1 percent in Oconee County and 47.6 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.