With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, the director of Cobb and Douglas Public Health said rising COVID-19 cases are stressing hospital capacity and she’s urging the public to reduce “non-essential” activities for the time being.
That includes limiting gatherings such as parties and weddings, which she said have been common sources for what she said is “pretty substantial community transmission” in Cobb County.
In a videotaped message posted Friday by Cobb County Government (see below), Dr. Janet Memark said hospitals are at near capacity with new COVID-related admissions—up nearly 20 percent in recent weeks—and there’s only one critical care bed left.
“These are very dangerous times for us,” said Memark, who didn’t provide any hospital figures. “The weather is going to get colder and we’re moving inside and there’s increased travel.”
She said citizens “know what works”—wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing—but “we should try to do our best and not go out and do too many things that are not essential at this point.”
She recommended against eating out in crowded places and going to bars, because along with weddings and other social gatherings, “that is where we are having the transmission.”
On Friday, there were 186 new reported cases of COVID-19 in Cobb, continuing a rising trend in November.
For the month, there have been 2,453 new cases in the county, for an average of 122 a day. Since March, Cobb has 25,178 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Cobb also has 487 deaths, the second-most in Georgia, and 26 have been reported this month.
That data is according to the date that cases and deaths are reported to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Its daily status report is issued in the afternoon.
In East Cobb, there have been 5,319 COVID-19 cases and 102 deaths as of Nov. 9, according to a ZIP Code map compiled by Commissioner Bob Ott.
Another set of metrics—date of “onset,” or when a positive COVID case is confirmed, and date of death—also is on the rise in Cobb.
The 14-day moving average of cases according to date of onset (in the chart at the top) was 115 a day as of Nov. 7. After a summer surge of cases, that figure had dropped to 37 a day in late September.
Another indicator used to monitor community spread is a 14-day average of cases per 100,000 people. That now stands at 271—100 is considered “high community spread”—and it has been a figure Cobb school superintendent Chris Ragsdale relied on earlier in the school year regarding reopening.
But he told Cobb Board of Education members this week “there are no metrics” in determining classroom or school closures, and that each situation will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
There have been no closures since Cobb students opting for face-to-face learning returned to schools.
On Friday, the Cobb County School District reported 106 new COVID cases among teachers and staff, and 105 the week before that.
Of the 721 cases reported in the district since July 1, 434 have come since students began returning to school.
Memark has said that she’s not seeing transmission in the schools—a point Ragsdale also made to the school board—but she said students going to school and adults going to work who are sick “is happening way too often, and it is going to be a major problem for everybody.”
She said that the schools will continue to be “disrupted by this,” and urged parents to determine what environment is best for their children.
Cobb school district parents have until Nov. 29 to decide learning options for the spring semester, although another choice window could open in the spring.
Across the country, Memark said only three states are not seeing surges in new COVID-19 cases.
“If you have people who are medically fragile or are coming from areas that have very high rates like us, you’re definitely at risk of exposure or exposing others to COVID at this time,” she said.
There have been nearly 400,000 reported COVID-19 cases in Georgia and 8,591 deaths. Since last Sunday, there have been 11,477 cases reported according to date of report, and 5,232 according to date of onset.
In that time, there have been 144 deaths reported according to date of report and 49 by date of death in Georgia.
More COVID-19 information and resources from Cobb and Douglas Public Health can be found here.
- Cobb schools report 434 new COVID cases since reopening
- Cobb school superintendent: ‘No metrics’ for COVID closures
- ARC: 13% of Cobb residents lost jobs/furloughed since COVID-19
- East Cobb resident serves “Lasagna Love” for COVID families
- Cases surge as East Cobb COVID numbers reach milestones
- East Cobb News Coronavirus Resource Page
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