The 10-county Northeast Health District added only 25 new cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days ending on Friday, down from 47 added cases last Friday and considerably fewer than the 63 cases added in the bottom of the last wave in July of last year.
The District added 11 confirmed deaths from the disease, down from the 17 added in the week ending last Friday.
One of the confirmed deaths was in Oconee County, and another was in Clarke County.
The average number of added cases per day in the last seven days in the Northeast Health District was 3.6, compared with 6.7 in the seven days ending on March 18.
Oconee County added 12 cases in the week ending on Friday, up from eight new cases in the week ending on March 18.
Clarke County added 13 new cases in the seven days ending on Friday, down from 23 new cases in the week ending on March 18.
The seven-day rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday per 100,000 population was 2.7, and it was 1.0 in Clarke County.
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On March 18, those rolling averages had been 2.1 in Oconee County and 2.1 in Clarke County.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Friday was 1.1 compared with 0.9 on Friday of last week.
In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases on Friday was 1.3, compared with 2.7 on Friday of last week.
The Delta variant of COVID-19 began to spread in late June of 2021 before being replaced by the Omicron variant at the end of the year.
The Oconee County confirmed COVID-19 death was of an 85-year-old female without a chronic condition.
The Clarke County confirmed death was of a 67-year-old male without a chronic condition.
Oconee County now has 95 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, or 227.3 per 100,000 population, and Clarke County has 214 deaths, or 166.3 per 100,000 population.
The remaining nine confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the Northeast Health District in the last seven days were in Barrow (1), Madison (2), Morgan (2), Oglethorpe (1), and Walton (3) counties.
The Northeast Health District now has recorded 1,551 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, or 292.6 per 100,000 population.
Clarke County continues to have the lowest number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths per population in the 10-county Northeast Health District, and Oconee County has the second lowest.
Elbert County, with 81 deaths, has the highest number per population, with 412.5 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 per 100,000 population.
The Northeast Health District had 144 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, the same as a week ago.
Oconee County Schools
Oconee County Schools did not add any new cases of COVID-19 in the last week, and the number of cases recorded since the beginning of the school year on Aug. 4 is 694.
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A group of parents continues to file an open records request each week for reported cases, and Oconee County Schools responded on Thursday that no new cases had been added since Thursday of last week.
This is the second week in a row in which no new cases were added at Oconee County Schools
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.
Oconee County Schools releases to the public only the number of Active Cases in the schools at the end of the class week. The data from the previous week are removed when the new data are reported.
In its report on Friday, Oconee County Schools reported no Active COVID-19 Cases, the same as the week before. This is the third week in a row in which Oconee County Schools reported no Active Cases in its Friday report.
University, Hospital Reports
The University of Georgia on Wednesday, in its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Updates, reported 20 positive COVID-19 tests, up from13 in the previous week, based on an updated count.
The report on Wednesday covered the period of March 14 to 20.
The University reported that 259 walk-in tests were performed on individuals by the University Health Center in the week ending on March 20. That number had been 95 a week earlier.
Three of the 259 tests were positive, for a positivity rate of 1.2 percent. The positivity rate for the walk-in tests performed in the week ending on March 20 was 0.0 percent.
The Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Friday that the number of COVID-19 patients at area hospitals was six, down from 26 on March 18.
The number of ICU beds in use was 58, down from 63 a week earlier, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 22, down from 40 a week earlier.
The listed number of available ICU beds at area hospitals is 70.
The number of COVID patients at area hospitals has now dropped below the seven recorded at the low point before the latest increase in cases starting in early June of 2021.
While the case counts are now difficult to compare with earlier time periods because of home testing, the drop in hospital cases as well as in deaths indicates a significant decline in the severity of the disease in recent weeks.