Coronavirus update 2.0 Athens

Last week, Athens-Clarke County saw a slight decrease in the rate of new confirmed COVID-19 cases compared to the week before. However, the cases in ACC have been on a steady rise overall since December 2020. 

From Jan. 14-20, ACC reported 502 new confirmed cases, compared to 749 from Jan. 7-13. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the seven-day average positivity rate fell from 15.2% on Jan. 13 to 14.2% on Jan. 20. Although this is a slight drop, it is still high. The World Health Organization and Johns Hopkins University recommend positivity rates should stay at 5% or lower.

From Jan. 14-20, ACC reported seven more confirmed COVID-19 deaths since the week before, bringing the total to81 since the start of the pandemic. 

According to the DPH, the seven-day daily case average declined from 107 from Jan 7-13 to 71.7 from Jan. 14-20 for ACC.

Additionally, the demographic for hospitalizations in ACC has seen exceeding numbers of Black patients compared to white patients. There have been 151 cumulative Black patients and 146 cumulative white patients hospitalized due to COVID-19. 

According to the Georgia Geospatial Information Office, the number of current hospitalizations in Region E — which includes ACC and several surrounding counties — showed a slight decline last week. On Jan. 20, there were 255 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, compared to the 293 on Jan. 14.

Statewide, the weekly rate of new confirmed COVID-19 cases has also decreased slightly.

Georgia reported 5,401 confirmed COVID-19 cases for the week of Jan. 14-20, down from 5,999 last week. According to the DPH, the seven-day daily case average decreased to 5,893.9 during Jan. 14-20 compared to 7,384.3 the week before. The rate of weekly confirmed deaths increased slightly as Georgia recorded 972 new confirmed COVID-19 deaths from Jan. 13 to Jan. 20. The death rate may continue to rise.

According to the Georgia Geospatial Information Office, the number of current COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state slightly decreased from about 5,600 on Jan. 13 to 5,428 on Jan. 20. 

In addition, comparing the week of Jan. 14 to the week of Jan. 20 may be difficult because of the winter break holidays, creating a backlog that may have increased case and death counts.

Georgia has received 478,725 Pfizer vaccinations and 591,400 Moderna vaccinations. The state has administered about 535,920 vaccinations as of Jan. 20. 

ACC has received 29,150 vaccinations in various clinics and hospitals out of the 45,925 its distributors  requested initially. Athens has a population of about 127,000, according to 2019 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.