The 10-county Northeast Health District added 1,245 new cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days, representing another large drop in cases from the week before.
The District added 28 confirmed deaths from the disease, however, up from 18 the week earlier. Deaths are a lagging indicator of the disease.
Two of the confirmed deaths were in Oconee County and one was in Clarke County.
The average number of added cases per day in the last seven days in the Northeast Health District was 177.9, compared with 348.9 in the seven days ending on Feb. 4.
Oconee County added 89 cases on Friday, compared with 204 new cases in week ending on Feb. 4.
Clarke County added 244 new cases in the seven days ending on Friday, compared with 543 new cases in the week ending on Feb. 4.
The seven-day rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday per 100,000 population was 28.7, and it was 27.1 in Clarke County.
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On Feb. 4, those rolling averages had been 67.7 in Oconee County and 60.1 in Clarke County.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday was 12.0 compared with 28.9 on Friday of last week.
In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases on Friday was 34.9, compared with 77.0 on Friday of last week.
The Oconee County confirmed COVID-19 deaths were of a 64-year-old male with a chronic condition and of a 70-year-old female without a known chronic condition.
The Clarke County confirmed death was of a 62-year-old male without a known chronic condition.
Oconee County now has 85 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, or 203.4 per 100,000 population, and Clarke County has 192 deaths, or 149.2 per 100,000 population.
The remaining 25 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the Northeast Health District in the last seven days were in Barrow (4), Elbert (2), Greene (2), Jackson (3), Madison (2), Oglethorpe (1), and Walton (11) counties.
The Northeast Health District now has recorded 1,415 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Northeast Health District had 133 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, up from 131 a week ago.
One of the added “probable” deaths was in Oconee County, and one was in Walton County.
No details are given of “probable” deaths.
Oconee County Schools
As of the end of classes on Thursday, Oconee County Schools had recorded 688 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 688 cases are an increase of 10 from Thursday of last week. Last Thursday Oconee County Schools had added 24 cases from the week before.
Since the beginning of the school year on Jan. 4 year, Oconee County Schools has added 260 cases. It had recorded 428 cases in all of 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 10 added cases from last Thursday through this Thursday, two are staff members, including teachers, and the remaining eight are students. That is a ratio for the staff of one in five.
Only a little more than one in 10 of the total full-time staff (including faculty) and students at Oconee County Schools are staff.
One of the staff cases was at Oconee County Primary School, and the other was at Malcom Bridge Elementary School.
The analysis shows that the student cases are slightly disproportionally at the lower grades as well.
Six of the eight student cases are at the elementary level. One was at Oconee County High School, and one was at North Oconee High School.
Based on October enrollment figures, 44.0 percent of the students in Oconee County Schools are in the elementary school grades, 23.3 percent are at the middle school level, and 32.7 percent are in the two high schools.
Active Cases Counted
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, down from nine the week earlier.
In the file released to parents on Friday, reporting data through the end of the day on Thursday, three cases were marked as still Active, one kindergarten student at Malcom Bridge Elementary School, one staff member at Malcom Bridge Elementary School, and one ninth grade student at North Oconee High School.
The student at Malcom Bridge Elementary School would have a 13-day gap between the Date of Positive Result and Return Date, while the Malcom Bridge Elementary School staff member would have a gap of six days, and the North Oconee High School Student would have a gap of five days.
During the last week, one of the students at Malcom Bridge Elementary School and a student at North Oconee High School were marked as Inactive with only a four-day gap between Date Of Positive Result and Return Date.
The parents who have filed the open records requests have asked Oconee County Schools to provide them with additional data to help explain how the Return Date is calculated.
The most recent open records requests asked specifically for the recording of Day 0, or the first day of symptoms if symptomatic or the date of the positive test if asymptomatic, but Oconee County Schools has provided only the Date Of Positive Result.
Julie Rosdeutscher Crowe, one of the parents who has requested the data from Oconee County Schools, forwarded to me an email from Dallas LeDuff, Director of Student Services for Oconee County Schools.
“The return date and Day 0 are determined by the medical provider of the student or staff member,” LeDuff wrote.
School Age Data, Test Positivity Rates
Oconee County added only nine cases among those aged 5 to 17 in the week ending at the beginning of the day on Feb. 10, according to the School Aged COVID-19 Surveillance Data released by the Department of Public Health on Friday.
The report showed an addition of 111 cases across all age groups in the last week, with five of them for children under five years of age, seven for persons 18 to 22, and 90 for those persons 23 years old and older.
The percentages of added cases that were for persons 5 to 17 years old was 8.1 on Feb. 10, compared with 20.3 percent a week earlier.
The percentage of cases for those 0 to 4 years old was 4.5 percent up from 3.9 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 14.0, down from 26.4 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 11.5, down from 22.3 on Friday of last week.
University, Hospital Reports
The University of Georgia on Wednesday, in its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Updates, reported 158 positive COVID-19 tests, down from 363 in the previous week.
The report on Wednesday covered the period of Jan. 31 to Feb. 6.
The University reported that 652 walk-in tests were performed on individuals by the University Health Center in the week ending on Feb. 6.
The positivity rate for the walk-in tests performed in the week ending on Feb. 6 was 3.8 percent, down from the 7.5 percent reported in the week ending Jan. 30.
The Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Friday that the number of COVID-19 patients at area hospitals was 112, down from 213 on Feb. 4.
The number of ICU beds in use was 64, down from 72 last Friday, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 38, down from 51 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, 48.4 percent of the residents of the Northeast Health District had at least one dose of a vaccine and 44.9 percent were fully vaccinated.
Those percentages were changed just slightly from a week ago, when 48.3 percent of the residents of the District had at least one dose of the vaccine and 44.7 percent were fully vaccinated.
In Oconee County, 60.6 percent of the population has at least one dose in Friday’s report, and 57.1 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures had been 60.5 percent and 57.0 percent a week ago.
In Clarke County, 51.1 percent of the population has as least one dose and 47.4 percent is fully vaccinated. Those figures were 51.0 percent and 47.3 percent last week.
In the Northeast Health District as a whole, 19.1 percent of the population has received a booster. Those figures are 26.9 percent in Oconee County and 22.6 percent in Clarke County.
Of those who are fully vaccinated, 42.7 percent in the District have received a booster. Those figures are 47.1 percent in Oconee County and 47.6 percent in Clarke County.
Last week, of those who are fully vaccinated in the Northeast Heath District, 42.3 percent had received a booster. Those figures were 46.9 percent in Oconee County and 47.2 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.