The Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Friday that area hospitals had 46 COVID-19 patients, down from the 50 reported last Friday and from the 53 reported two Fridays ago.
The number of ICU beds in use was 69, the same as a week earlier, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 28, down from 34 on Aug. 12.
The good news on the number of COVID-19 patients at area hospitals was offset by the report on Wednesday by the Georgia Department of Public Health that 12 new confirmed deaths had been reported in the 10-county Northeast Health District, up from two a week earlier.
One of those newly reported confirmed COVID-19 deaths was in Oconee County, and three were in Clarke County.
The Georgia Department of Public Health also reported that the number of new recorded COVID-19 cases in the Northeast Health District tallied by the electronic tracking system in the week ending on Aug. 17 had increased by1,257 from the week before.
The 10-county District had added 1,097 cases in the week ending on Aug. 10 and 1,083 in the week ending on Aug. 3.
The Northeast Health District includes Oconee and Clarke counties. The other counties are Barrow, Elbert, Greene, Madison, Morgan, Oglethorpe, and Walton.
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, ending on a Wednesday.
|Click To Enlarge|
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.
The average number of added cases per day in the last seven days ending on Aug. 17 in the Northeast Health District was 179.6, compared with 156.7 in the seven days ending on Aug. 10 and 154.7 in the week ending on Aug. 3.
Oconee County added 51 cases in the seven days ending on last Wednesday. The county added 48 cases in the seven days ending on Aug. 10.
Clarke County added 241 new cases in the seven days ending on Aug. 17. It had added 217 new cases in the week ending on Aug. 10.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Wednesday of last week was 7.3. It had been 7.6 on Aug. 10.
In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases on Wednesday was 35.3, compared with 33.0 on Aug. 10.
The Oconee County confirmed death reported on Wednesday was of an 89-year-old male without a chronic condition.
The Clarke County confirmed deaths were of a 60-year-old male, a 65-year-old male, and an 84-year-old female, none of whom has a chronic condition.
The death in Oconee County brings to 97 the number of deaths in the county attributed to the disease since February of 2020, or 232.1 per 100,000 population.
The three deaths in Clarke County bring to 233 the number of deaths in the county attributed to the disease since February of 2020, or 181.1 deaths per 100,000 population.
The other confirmed deaths from COVID-19 reported in the Wednesday report from the Department of Public Health were in Barrow County (2), Elbert County (1), Jackson County (1), and Walton County (4).
The 10-county Northeast Health District now has 1,634 confirmed COVID-19 deaths since February of 2020, or 308.2 per 100,000 population.
Clarke County has the lowest rate of deaths per 100,000 population, followed by Oconee County.
The newly reported death in Elbert County brings to 84 the number attributed to COVID-19 since February of 2020 in that county, or 427.8 per 100,000 population. That is the highest rate in the 10-county Northeast Health District.
The Northeast Health District also reported 174 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday. That number in an increase by one from last week.
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.”
|Click To Enlarge|
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.
Neither Oconee County Schools nor the University of Georgia is any longer reporting COVID-19 cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and prevention rates the Transmission Rate of COVID-19 in Oconee and Clarke counties as high, based on total number of new cases per 100,000 population in the last seven days and the percentage of Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests that are positive during the last seven days, ending on last Thursday.
Every county in the state of Georgia is rated as High Transmission except Montgomery (Substantial) and Wheeler (Moderate).