Coronavirus update 2.0 Athens

Last week, Athens-Clarke County saw a decrease in the rate of new confirmed COVID-19 cases compared to the week before.

From March 25-31, ACC reported 74 new confirmed cases, compared to 75 from March 18-24, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. The county’s seven-day average positivity rate increased to 4.2% on March 31 compared to 3% on March 24. The World Health Organization and Johns Hopkins University recommend that communities try to maintain a positivity rate of 5% or lower.

From March 25-31, ACC reported six confirmed COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to 135 since the start of the pandemic.

According to the DPH, the ACC seven-day daily case average has slightly decreased from 10.7 for the week of March 18-24 to 10.6 for the week of March 25-31.

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 increase last week. On March 31, there were 50 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, compared to the 44 on March 24.

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

Georgia reported 10,769 confirmed COVID-19 cases for the week of March 25-31, slightly down from 11,278 last week. According to the DPH, the seven-day daily case average decreased to 1,538.4 on March 25-31 compared to 1,611.1 the week before. The number of confirmed deaths increased — Georgia recorded 357 new confirmed COVID-19 deaths from March 25-31 compared to the 262 deaths last week.

According to the Geospatial Information Office, the number of current COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state slightly decreased from about 1,213 on March 24 to 1,204 on March 31.

In addition, about 592 cases of the B.1.1.7. COVID-19 variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom, have been cumulatively found in the state as of March 30. 22 cases of the B.1.351 mutation, which was first discovered in South Africa, have been cumulatively found in the state. Additionally, one case of the P.1. COVID-19 variant, which was found originally in Brazil, has been found in the state.

DPH temporarily took its COVID-19 vaccine dashboard offline, due to ongoing system and data issues, therefore we do not have an update in vaccinations administered for the state and county this week.

Nationwide, more vaccines are being administered than COVID-19 cases confirmed.

All Georgians ages 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as of Thursday, March 25.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, endorsed double masking amid the more contagious COVID-19 mutations found in the U.S., which have been found to be 30-70% more transmissible to others than the initial strain. Double-masking has shown to block over 92% of potentially infectious particles from spreading to others, according to a study done by the CDC.

The CDC has also released guidelines for vaccinated individuals to still try their best to follow social distancing, wear masks and frequently wash hands even if they have been vaccinated.

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