The Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Friday that area hospitals had 14 COVID-19 patients, down from the 17 cases reported last Friday. The 14 cases are the lowest since June 17.
The number of ICU beds in use on Friday was 72, down from 73 a week earlier, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 28, down from 29 on last Friday.
The Georgia Department of Public Health reported five new confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in its report on Wednesday, down from six reported a week earlier.
None the newly reported confirmed COVID-19 deaths was in Oconee County or Clarke County. The Department of Public Health reported a “probable” death from COVID-19 in Clarke County.
The Georgia Department of Public Health also reported that the Northeast Health District added 181 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Oct. 5, based on the Department’s electronic tracking system.
That number of added cases on Wednesday was down from 195 added on Sept. 28.
The Northeast Health District includes Oconee and Clarke counties. The other counties are Barrow, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, 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.
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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.
The average number of added cases per day in the last seven days ending on Oct. 5 in the Northeast Health District was 25.9, compared with 27.9 on Sept. 28.
Oconee County added 14 cases in the seven days ending on Wednesday. The county added 12 cases in the seven days ending on Sept. 28.
Clarke County added 43 new cases in the seven days ending on Oct. 5. It had added 41 new cases in the week ending on Sept. 28.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Oct. 5 was 3.0. It had been 2.0 on Sept. 28.
The unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases in Clarke County on Oct. 5 was 5.6, compared with 6.4 on Sept. 28.
The five confirmed deaths from COVID-19 reported in the Wednesday Department of Public Health report were in Barrow County (1), Elbert County (1), Greene County (1), and Walton County (2).
The 10-county Northeast Health District now has 1,671 confirmed COVID-19 deaths since February of 2020, or 315.2 deaths per 100,000 population.
The Northeast Health District also reported 182 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, up from 180 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.
Neither Oconee County Schools nor the University of Georgia is any longer reporting COVID-19 cases.
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The Centers for Disease Control and prevention rates the Transmission Rate of COVID-19 in Oconee County as High and in Clark County as Moderate, 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.
Last week, Oconee County was rated as Moderate and Clarke County was rated as Substantial.
The CDC now lists only 33 out of the state’s 159 counties as having a High transmission rate.
That number has dropped from 141 out of 159 on Sept. 9.
The CDC scale is High (Red), Substantial (Orange), Moderate (Yellow), or Low (Blue).