The Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Friday that area hospitals had 35 COVID-19 patients, up from 24 on Friday of last week.
The number of ICU beds in use was 71, up from 67 a week earlier, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 30, up from 29 a week ago.
The number of COVID-19 patients at area hospitals has not been this high on a Friday since March 11, when it was 36.
The Georgia Department of Public Health reported that the number of new COVID-19 cases in the Northeast Health District tallied by the electronic tracking system in the week ending on July 6 was 812.
The 10-county District had added 807 cases in the week ending on June 29.
The Department of Public Heath Report on Wednesday did not add any new confirmed deaths from COVID-19, and the total number of confirmed deaths from the disease in the 10-county District going back to February of 2020 stood at 1,598.
The Northeast Health District did add one “probable” death from COVID-19. That death, the 168th in the District, was in Oconee County. Oconee County now has 12 “probable” deaths from the disease since the onset of the pandemic in 2020 as well as 301 confirmed deaths from the disease.
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 in April in part because of a concern that its counts 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 116.0, compared with 115.3 in the seven days ending on June 29.
That average has increased–very slightly in this last week--each week since May 4.
Oconee County added 60 cases in the seven days ending on Wednesday. The county added 55 cases in the seven days ending on June 29.
Clarke County added 197 new cases in the seven days ending on July 6. It had added 235 new cases in the week ending on June 29.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Wednesday was 8.3. It had been 7.9 on June 29.
In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases on Wednesday was 29.1, compared with 34.1 on June 29.
Focus On Hospital Reports
In its announcement in April, 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.”
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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 include 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.
The increase in hospital cases in recent weeks while case counts in the Department of Public Health report underscores the importance of monitoring the hospital data.
The University of Georgia has discontinued issuance of its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Updates.
Oconee County Schools is not in session and does not issue its weekly COVID-19 update during the summer.
Classes resume on Aug. 3.
Thank you for continuing to do this, Lee. I appreciate keeping tabs on the hospitalization/death data. It helps me decide what precautions I will take.
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