The Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Friday that area hospitals had nine COVID-19 patients, down from the 13 reported on Friday of last week.
The number of ICU beds in use was 60, down from 70 a week earlier, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 20, down from 33 a week earlier.
In its weekly COVID-19 report on May 18, the Department of Public Health showed that the number of cases tallied in its electronic tracking system increased in the 10-county Northeast Health District by 276 from the Status Report on May 11.
The District had added 257 cases in the week ending on May 11.
The Department of Public Heath Report on Wednesday added three new confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the Northeast Health District in the last week.
One of the confirmed deaths was in Clarke County County.
The Northeast Health District includes Oconee and Clarke counties.
Although the Department of Public Health is releasing a report only weekly, it is gathering data on a daily basis, and the weekly report includes a data file containing case counts each day.
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The Department of Public Health switched to weekly, rather than daily, case counts on April 20 in part because of a concern that its numbers under-represent the actual number of cases.
At home test results are not included in the electronic reporting system.
If the undercount is consistent week-to-week, however, the trends across time would track changes in the occurrence of COVID-19 in the 10-county Northeast Health District as well as in the state.
The average number of added cases per day in the last seven days ending on Wednesday in the Northeast Health District was 39.4, compared with 36.7 in the seven days ending on May 11.
Oconee County added 26 cases in the seven days ending on Wednesday. The county added 37 cases in the seven days ending on May 11.
Clarke County added 84 new cases in the seven days ending on May 18. It had added 97 new cases in the week ending on May 11.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Wednesday was 3.3. It had been 4.4 on May 11.
In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases on Wednesday was 11.9, compared with 15.0 on May 11.
The Clarke County death was of a 50-year-old male with a chronic condition.
The death brings to 221 the number of confirmed deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the county since the outbreak of the pandemic in February of 2020. That is 171.8 deaths per 100,000 population, the lowest rate in the 10-county Northeast Health District.
The other two confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the last week in the Northeast Health District were in Jackson and Walton counties.
The total number of confirmed deaths in the Northeast Health District is now 1,590, or 299.9 per 100,000 population.
The Department of Public Health added one “probable” death from COVID-19 in the Northeast Health District in the last week ending on Wednesday.
That death "probable" death was in Clarke County and brings to 13 the number of “probable” deaths from the disease in the county. The total for the District now is 165.
The Department of Public Health does not release any details of “probable” deaths.
Focus On Hospital Reports
In its announcement on April 14, the Georgia Department of Public Health said “Given the number of at-home COVID tests that do not get reported, there is now a greater focus on other indicators.”
The announcement directed attention to the data released by the Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.
The hospital data available for the area includes the 10 counties in the Northeast Health District plus Hart and Franklin counties. The data are dominated by St. Mary’s and Piedmont Regional in Athens-Clarke County.
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University Of Georgia Report
The University of Georgia on Wednesday, in its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Updates, reported 53 positive COVID-19 tests, down from 97 in the report for the previous week.
The report on Wednesday covered the period of May 9 to 15.
The University reported performing 123 walk-in tests on individuals at the University Health Center in the week ending on May 15. That number had been 193 a week earlier.
Only three of the 123 tests were positive, for a positivity rate of 2.4 percent. The positivity rate for the walk-in tests performed in the week ending on May 8 was 8.3 percent.
Dr. Shelley Nuss, Co-Chair of the Medical Oversight Task Force at the University of Georgia, sent out an email on May 9 indicating that the Health and Exposure Update will be discontinued after this final report on May 18.
Surveillance testing also will be discontinued.
Oconee County Schools Reports
A group of parents has continued to file an open records request each week for reported cases of COVID-19 at Oconee County Schools, and the system responded on Friday that one new case had been added.
The case involved a student at Dove Creek Elementary School.
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.
The report on Friday listed no Active Cases. Last Friday, Oconee County Schools had reported three Active Cases.
The data released to the parents indicated that the Dove Creek Elementary School student tested positive on May 16. Oconee County Schools recorded the case on May 17 and declared the case inactive on May 19.
Classes ended at Oconee County Schools on Friday (May 20), so the report on Friday was the last for the year.
Across the academic year, Oconee County Schools reported 700 cases of COVID-19 among its students and staff.