The Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Friday that area hospitals had 64 COVID-19 patients, up from 52 on Friday of last week and the highest number of cases since February of last year.
The number of ICU beds in use on Friday was 76, down from 80 a week earlier, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 28, down from 32 last Friday.
The Georgia Department of Public Health reported four new confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the Northeast Health District in its report on Wednesday, including one in Oconee County and one in Clarke County.
The Georgia Department of Public Health also reported that the Northeast Health District added 729 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Jan. 4, based on the Department’s electronic tracking system.
That number of added cases on Dec. 28 was 758. The decline is the first going back to Nov. 30.
The Georgia Department of Public Health’s 10-county Northeast Health District includes Oconee and Clarke counties. The other counties are Barrow, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Madison, Morgan, Oglethorpe, and Walton.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified the Transmission Rate for COVID-19 for Oconee County and for Clarke County as High this past week, as it had been a week earlier.
All counties in the Northeast Health District continue to be rated as High Transmission of COVID-19.
The CDC rates the Influenza Activity Level for Georgia as High, as it was a week earlier, and it reports that the percent of Antigen tests for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) that were positive was up just slightly from a week earlier, as was the percent of PCR tests for RSV that was positive.
The CDC is not reporting county level data for Influenza or RSV.
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 Jan. 4 in the Northeast Health District was 104.1, down from 108.3 last week.
Oconee County added 37 cases in the seven days ending on Wednesday. The county added 69 cases in the seven days ending on Dec. 28.
Clarke County added 137 new cases in the seven days ending on Jan. 4. It had added 154 cases in the week ending on Dec. 28.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Jan. 4 was 6.0. It had been 9.7 on Dec. 28.
The unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases in Clarke County on Jan. 4 was 19.6. It had been 22.3 on Dec. 28.
The newly reported confirmed death from COVID-19 in Oconee County was of a 77-year-old male without a chronic condition.
The newly reported confirmed death from COVID-19 in Clarke County was of an 82-year-old female without a chronic condition.
The death in Oconee County brings to 102 the number of confirmed deaths from the disease in the county since the outbreak of the pandemic in February of 2020. That is 244.0 deaths per 100,000 population.
The total number of confirmed deaths from the disease in Clarke County is now 237, or 184.2 per 100,000.
The two additional confirmed deaths reported by the Department of Public Health on Wednesday were both in Madison County.
The Northeast Health District now has recorded 1,706 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 since February of 2020, or 321.8 deaths per 100,000 population.
Clarke County has the lowest rate of death per population in the Northeast Health District, followed by Oconee County.
The Northeast Health District reported 192 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, up by one from last Wednesday.
The new “probable” death from COVID-19 was in Walton County.
The Department of Public Health does not provide any individual information about the “probable” deaths from the disease.
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.
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The Centers for Disease Control and prevention rates the Transmission Rate of COVID-19 in Oconee County and Clarke County 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.
Both counties had been rated at High in terms of Rate of Transmission last week as well.
The CDC now lists 148 out of the state’s 159 counties as having a High Transmission Rate.
That number was 136 last week.
The CDC scale is High (Red), Substantial (Orange), Moderate (Yellow), or Low (Blue).
Neither the CDC nor the Georgia Department of Public Health releases county-level data on influenza rates.
The state-wide Influenza Activity Level for Georgia for the week ending on Dec. 31, the most recent rating, lists the level of activity in Georgia as 9, or High.
The highest level is 13. The rating last week was 9.
The CDC reports the three-week rolling average of the percent of Antigen and PRC detections for RSV in the state.
For the week ending on Dec. 31, the rate was 2.1 (Antigen), and 2.4 (PCR).
For the week ending on Dec. 24, the rate was 2.0 (Antigen), and 2.4 (PCR).