The Georgia Department of Public Health reported three new confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the Northeast Health District in its report on Wednesday, including one in Clarke County.
The Department of Public Health reported four confirmed deaths from the disease in the Northeast Health District on Wednesday of last week.
The Department of Public Health also reported that the Northeast Health District added 400 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Feb. 8, based on the Department’s electronic tracking system.
That number of added cases on Feb. 1 had been 384.
Oconee County reported an increase in cases, while Clarke County reported a decrease.
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 most recent data from the Federal Department of Health and Human Services Data Hub show the seven-day rolling average of adult hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 at Piedmont Athens Regional was 19.4 and at St. Mary’s Hospitals was 8.2.
These numbers are unchanged at Piedmont Athens Regional and up slightly at St. Mary’s.
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 a week earlier.
All counties in the Northeast Health District continue to be rated as High Transmission of COVID-19 except Elbert County.
The CDC now rates the Influenza Activity Level for Georgia as Low, the same as a week earlier, and it reports that the percent of Antigen tests for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) that was positive was virtually unchanged from a week earlier and the percent of PCR tests for RSV also was largely stable.
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.
|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 Feb. 8 in the Northeast Health District was 57.1, up from 54.9 last week.
Oconee County added 26 cases in the seven days ending on Wednesday. The county added 17 cases in the seven days ending on Feb. 1.
Clarke County added 84 new cases in the seven days ending on Feb. 8. It had added 94 cases in the week ending on Feb. 1.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Feb. 1 was 3.7. It had been 2.6 on Feb. 1.
The unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases in Clarke County on Feb. 8 was 12.7. It had been 13.7 on Feb. 1.
The Clarke County confirmed death from COVID-19 in the last week was an 85-year-old male without a chronic condition.
The death this past week bring to 243 the total number of deaths in Clarke County from COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic in February of 2020.
The two other reported confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the Northeast Health District, according to the Daily Status Report on Feb. 8, were in Madison and Oglethorpe counties.
The Northeast Health District now has recorded 1,734 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 since February of 2020, or 327.1 deaths per 100,000 population.
Clarke County has the lowest rate of deaths per 100,000 population in the Northeast Health District (188.9), followed by Oconee County (102 confirmed deaths, or 244.0 per 100,000 population).
The Northeast Health District reported 195 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, up from 194 last week.
The newly reported “probable” death from the disease was in Clarke County, bringing to 18 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 in the county.
The Department of Public Health does not provide any details on “probable” deaths from the disease.
Focus On Hospital Reports
The Georgia Department of Public Health last April had directed attention to the number of hospital cases as a better indicator of trends in COVID cases than the case counts it releases.
|Click To Enlarge|
The April announcement directed attention to the data released by the Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, which reported data from the entire state and from regions of the state.
Despite that, the Department of Public Health is no longer using data on hospital cases in its Daily Status Report.
|Click To Enlarge|
The Daily Status Report instead provides a link to the U.S. Health and Human Services web site.
The most recent data on that site, for Jan. 27 and reported on Feb. 6, show a seven-day rolling average of adult hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 of 19.4 at Piedmont Athens Regional and 8.2 at St. Mary’s Hospital, both in Athens.
On Jan. 20, the seven-day rolling average of adult hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 was 19.7 at Piedmont Athens Regional and 7.1 at St. Mary’s.
Neither hospital reported a pediatric COVID case on Jan. 27 or Jan. 20.
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 109 out of the state’s 159 counties as having a High Transmission Rate.
That number was 114 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 Jan. 28, the most recent rating, lists the level of activity in Georgia as 4, or Low.
The highest level is 13. The rating last week was 4 as well.
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 Feb. 4, the rate was 1.25 (Antigen) and 1.54 (PCR)
For the week ending on Jan. 28, the rate was 1.32 (Antigen) and 1.52 (PCR).