The Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Friday that area hospitals had 53 COVID-19 patients, a 36 percent increase from the 39 cases on Friday of last week.
The number of COVID-19 cases at the area hospitals is the highest reported on a Friday since 70 were reported on Feb. 25 of this year.
The number of ICU beds in use was 71, up from 54 a week earlier but at roughly the same level as on each of the other Fridays in July.
The number of adult ventilators in use on Friday was 38, up from 23 on July 29.
The Georgia Department of Public Health 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. 3 was 1,083.
The 10-county District had added 1,162 cases in the week ending on July 27.
The Department of Public Heath Report on Wednesday added 10 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, up from six a week earlier.
Two of the deaths were in Clarke 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 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 154.7, compared with 160.0 in the seven days ending on July 27.
The drop in the average was the first since that number began increasing on May 11.
Oconee County added 45 cases in the seven days ending on Wednesday. The county added 50 cases in the seven days ending on July 27.
Clarke County added 203 new cases in the seven days ending on Aug. 3. It had added 274 new cases in the week ending on July 27.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Wednesday was 6.3. It had been 7.3 on July 27.
In Clarke County, the unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases on Wednesday was 29.7, compared with 39.7 on July 27.
The Clarke County deaths were of a 65-year-old female without a chronic condition and of a 72-year-old female without a chronic condition.
The Clarke County deaths bring to 230 in the county since February of 2020.
That represents 178.8 deaths per 100,000 population in Clarke County.
Even though Clarke County has been adding confirmed deaths from COVID-19 rather consistently in recent months, its rate per 100,000 population remains the lowest rate of any of the 10 counties in the Northeast Health District.
The rate in Oconee County, 229.7 per 100,000 population, is the second lowest in the Northeast Health District.
The other confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the Wednesday Department of Public Health Report were in Barrow (2), Greene (4), Madison (1), and Oglethorpe (1) counties.
The 10-county Northeast Health District now has 1,620 confirmed COVID-19 deaths since February of 2020, or 305.6 per 100,000 population.
The Northeast Health District also has 173 “probable” deaths from COVID-19. That number is unchanged 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.”
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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 University of Georgia has discontinued issuance of its COVID-19 Health and Exposure Updates.
Oconee County Schools announced at its Board of Education meeting on Aug. 1 that it “no longer collects data on individual positive cases” and did not issue a COVID-19 update on Friday.
Classes resumed on Aug. 3.
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 Thursday.
Every county in the state of Georgia is rated as High Transmission.