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Athens Area COVID-19 Levels Reach New Highs

The seven-day rolling averages of added COVID-19 cases increased in Oconee and Clarke counties on Sunday and in the Northeast Health District as a whole.

Oconee County added 39 cases, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases increased to 49.6, the highest average to date, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. The average had been 46.4 on Saturday.

Clarke County added 97 cases, and the seven-day rolling average increased from 84.1 on Saturday to 93.1 on Sunday. The 93.1 figure is a new high for Clarke County as well.

Across the 10-county Northeast Health District, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties and the eight counties surrounding them, the addition of 449 new cases on Sunday resulted in an increase in the seven-day rolling average from 491.6 on Saturday to 521.9 on Sunday—a level never reached before.

Lee Becker

The district did not add any deaths from COVID-19 in the Sunday Daily Status Report, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths remained unchanged at 1.7 deaths per day.

The Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Sunday that the number of COVID-19 patients at area hospitals (267) increased by three from the day before; the number of ICU beds in use (69) decreased by one from the day before; and the number of adult ventilators in use (53) increased by five from the day before.

The number of COVID-19 patients at area hospitals has increased each day since Dec. 23 and, at 267, is at the highest level ever recorded. COVID-19 patients make up 41.6% of the patients in the hospitals, the same as on Saturday and the highest percentage ever recorded. The state figure on Sunday was 30.5%, a new record.

Area hospitals have expanded their ICU capacity to handle the demand and now report having 74 beds available, rather than the usual 70.

The GMA data are reported as being current as of the beginning of the day on Sunday. The data are for Region E of GEMA, which consists of the 10 counties of the Northeast Health District plus Hart and Franklin counties and has nine hospitals with emergency rooms. The largest and dominant hospitals with the vast majority of the beds are the two in Clarke County.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.