Covid cases in Fayette on a slow rise after November lull

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The yellow line represents a 7-day moving average of newly reported Covid-19 cases in Fayette County. Graph/Ga. DPH.
The yellow line represents a 7-day moving average of newly reported Covid-19 cases in Fayette County. Graph/Ga. DPH.

November 2021 has recorded a Covid-19 lull in Fayette County, averaging just under 8 new infections a day. From Nov. 1 through Nov. 30, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported 232 new cases of the coronavirus for the month with 10 additional recorded Covid deaths over the 30-day period.

The end of the month is seeing a slight uptick in a closely watched metric — the 2-week average infection rate as determined by the ratio of positive tests to the total number of tests administered.

On Nov. 1 that 2-week rate was 1.2% and 112 new cases over a 2-week period. That’s under 2 infections per 100 tests. On Nov. 30, the 2-week number had risen to 129 and the 2-week rate had risen to 2.5%, DPH reported.

There were 32 hospitalizations of Fayette residents who tested positive for Covid during November, DPH reported.

From Fayette County to the World Health Organization, all eyes are following news of a new Covid variant, called omicron, for the Greek letter, which first showed up in South Africa. No cases of the mutated virus have shown up in the U.S. yet, but health officials are expecting such reports before Christmas.

Meanwhile, health experts are recommending all persons over age 18 who have been fully vaccinated against the current version of Covid get a booster, or third shot.

Fayette vaccination levels are stuck in the low 60% range as of Nov. 30 — 61% have been fully vaccinated, representing 68,700 Fayette residents.

The most recent tally of Covid cases in Fayette County’s 24 brick-and-mortar schools showed a tiny number of new cases, although masking is no longer mandatory. The Nov. 19 school report — covering the last full week of in-person classes before the Thanksgiving holiday — counted 8 students and 2 staff members with new infections. That’s out of a student population of more than 20,000, plus more than 2,000 staff members.

The report showed that 10 students were out on at-home quarantines, and another 44 students were attending classes in modified quarantines.

If the system follows its usual schedule, another Covid tally will be released to the public this coming Friday, Dec. 3.