Coronavirus update 2.0 Athens

Last week, Athens-Clarke County saw about the same number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases compared to the week before.

From April 22-28, ACC reported 80 new confirmed cases, compared to 79 from April 15-21, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. The county’s seven-day average positivity rate decreased slightly to 3.3% on April 28 compared to 4.2% on April 21. The World Health Organization and Johns Hopkins University recommend that communities try to maintain a positivity rate of 5% or lower.

From April 22-28, ACC reported two confirmed COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to 144 since the start of the pandemic.

According to the Georgia Geospatial Information Office, the number of current hospitalizations in Region E — which includes ACC and several surrounding counties — showed an steadiness last week. On April 28, there were 36 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, compared to the 38 on April 21.

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

Georgia reported 10,021 confirmed COVID-19 cases for the week of April 22-28, an increase from 9,888 last week. The state’s seven-day average positivity rate decreased to 4.9% on April 28 compared to 6% on April 21. The number of confirmed deaths increased — Georgia recorded 221 new confirmed COVID-19 deaths from April 22-28 compared to the 204 on April 15-21.

According to the Geospatial Information Office, the number of current COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state decreased from about 1,249 on April 21 to 1,131 on April 28.

In Georgia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention measured newly-found variants of COVID-19 in a 4-week period until April 10. Of those, about 64.3% were the B.1.1.7. COVID-19 variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom. 2.4% of all cases were the B.1.351 mutation, which was first discovered in South Africa. About 3.6% of all cases in the state were the B.1.427 mutation, which was originally found in California. Additionally, 1.2% of all cases were the P.1. COVID-19 variant, which was found originally in Brazil. All other lineages of mutations comprised 28.6% of cases.

According to the DPH, Georgia has administered a total of 5,970,500 vaccines. Of these, about 3,552,339 have been the first dose. According to 2019 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Georgia has a total population of about 10,617,423.

In total, about 24% of all residents in Georgia have been fully vaccinated, and 34% have received at least one vaccine dose. 

In Athens, 71,279 vaccines have been administered. Of those, 40,709 have received the first dose. About 25% of the county’s residents have been fully vaccinated. 

Use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been resumed by the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after blood clots were found in six women who had received the vaccine, out of nearly 7 million Americans who had received it.

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 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.