Is Fayette’s omicron surge ending?

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Graph shows a peak in numbers of test-confirmed Covid-19 cases the first week of January in Fayette County and decline case numbers since then. Graph_Georgia Department of Public Health.
Graph shows a peak in numbers of test-confirmed Covid-19 cases the first week of January in Fayette County and a decline in case numbers since then. Graph_Georgia Department of Public Health.

Data from the Georgia Department of Public Health suggest that the surge in infections largely attributed to the Covid-19 variant named omicron is on the way down, at least in measured test results, statewide and in Fayette County,as shown in the graphs above and below from Jan. 17.

Statewide Covid cases from pandemic beginning to Jan. 17, 2022. Graph/Ga. Department of Public Health.
Statewide Covid cases from pandemic beginning to Jan. 17, 2022. Graph/Ga. Department of Public Health.

Currently there’s no way of measuring the continuing spread of the highly contagious variant, given the combination of a relatively mild infection for many people and the increase in home test kit use whose results are never reported to the DPH.

Hospitalizations of Fayette residents with test-confirmed Covid infections numbered 32 last week from Monday, Jan. 10 through Friday Jan. 14, according to DPH data. There were no reported fatalities attributed to Covid among Fayette residents last week, DPH data showed. However, 2 Covid fatalities were reported over the weekend, the first since the Jan. 10 report.

The contagiousness shows up in the 2-week rate of reported positive tests of Fayette residents. Fayette ended 2021 with a then-record high 2-week rate of 29.3%. It peaked at 34.5% on Jan. 5, then has fallen steadily to reach 24.7% Jan. 14. The Fayette rate continued downward in the Monday, Jan. DPH report — 23.3%.

That’s still high — nearly 1 out of every 4 Fayette residents who receive reportable tests turn out to have Covid — but the trend is downward.

The number of new hospitalizations stands at 46 since Monday, Jan. 10 and included 14 admitted over the past weekend and reported Monday, Jan. 17.

But that number requires some perspective. Everyone admitted to the hospital is tested immediately for Covid infection — but not everyone showed up at the hospital to receive treatment for Covid.

In other words, given omicron’s mild symptoms, an unknown number of new patients were admitted WITH Covid but NOT BECAUSE of Covid. See the hospital graphs below, with attention to the low impact on the state’s intensive care units and use of ventilators, both strongly impacted in previous Covid surges but with markedly lower impact levels with the now dominant strain in the state — omicron.

On the vaccination report, Fayette now has 63% of its population fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the Fayette County School System — having returned to mandatory masking following the Christmas holiday break — no longer provides a metric for quarantined staff members and students in the system’s 24 schools.

“Quarantines are no longer being reported due to a change in quarantine guidance that allows close contacts to continue to come to school/work if they wear a face covering for 10 days and are fever-free,” the system report for last week said.

In its weekly report, the system shows 134 new cases of Covid — 107 students and 27 staff members. The cases seem evenly distributed among all grade levels, with McIntosh High reporting the highest new case number — 12 students. See chart below.

 

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. Today, the NYT is reporting, based upon information that is widely available from the Georgia DPH, there was an 11% increase in COVID 19 cases in Fayette County yesterday and Coweta County is reporting a 21% increase in COVID 19 cases. This surge is far from over.

    • The GA DPH released a statement yesterday to help explain the increase in numbers that they posted and to help alleviate concern. The press release states: “Today’s COVID-19 Daily Status Report will reflect more than 27,000 newly reported cases (PCR positive and antigen positive combined). Please be advised this number includes a backlog of cases that were not previously reported by several large laboratories. The cases date back 7-10 days.” Press release can be found here: https://phdistrict2.org/?p=8615

      In addition, the GA DPH Covid dashboard states that 68% of Fayette residents have received one dose of the vaccine, and 63% are fully vaccinated. It also states that 45% are vaccinated with an additional dose. The CDC vaccine tracker website which you might be referring to (which has Fayette at being 50% vaccinated- not 40%) acknowledges that they are missing over 25% of county-level information for Georgia (also for Vermont) and to interpret their numbers with caution. The GA DPH number should be used instead of the CDC vaccine tracker number.

  2. The entire article is full of falsehoods and lies. Historically, whenever there is a 3 day weekend or after a major holiday, there is a data lag, that creates the illusion of things getting better. If you review all of past reports from THE CITIZEN, you will see that immediately after a 3 day weekend or major holiday, they routinely report blue skies and sunny days are on the horizon. They have been wrong each and every time.
    COVID 19 diagnostic tests are down, because it is literally impossible for anyone to actually obtain a COVID 19 diagnostic tests. And Fayette County eligible population is NOT 60% fully vaccinated. Fayette County remains at 40% of its eligible population (ages 5 and older) fully vaccinated. So in a room of 10 students, only 4 students are vaccinated. And fully vaccinated is NOT up to date with your COVID 19 vaccines. Being up to date on your COVID 19 vaccines as we enter the 3rd year of a pandemic that has killed over 32,000 Georgians, is NOT the same thing as fully vaccinated.