The rate of increase in new COVID-19 cases continues to decline in Grady County, although the number of people killed by the disease jumped by five this week. The Georgia Department of Public Health added five more Grady County residents in the last week to its list of COVID-19 fatalities for a total of 17 Grady countians killed by COVID-19.
The new information shows the deaths are an African American woman, 90 or older, with no comorbidity; a 65-year-old white male with a comorbidity; two other white males, these without a comorbidity, one aged 71 and another aged 77; and a 58-year-old male of unknown race and unknown comorbidity.
Since last Tuesday, Grady County has seen only 29 new positive cases of COVID-19, according to information from the D.P.H. The week prior, there were 41 new cases here. Grady County has recorded a total of 698 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
Emory University’s COVID-19 Health Equity Dashboard online states, “As of 9/7/2020, the daily average of new COVID-19 cases in Grady County numbered 16 case(s) per 100,000 residents. In comparison, the daily average in Georgia was 18 case(s) per 100,000 and in the United States was 12 case(s) per 100,000.”
With the new local deaths added to the tally, the information becomes more concerning, according to the Emory dashboard.
It states, “As of 9/7/2020, the daily average of new COVID-19 deaths in Grady County numbered 2.9 death(s) per 100,000 residents. In comparison, the daily average in Georgia was 0.5 death(s) per 100,000 and in the United States was 0.2 death(s) per 100,000.”
Grady General Hospital was treating five positive COVID-19 patients as of Tuesday, while Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville had 15 such patients and Mitchell County Hospital had one, according to Ashley Griffin, spokeswoman for Archbold Medical Centers, which operates G.G.H.
The numbers of new cases in Leon County, Florida exploded over the last week by 1,401 for a total of 7,718, according to Florida Public Health information. Leon County also had five new deaths in the last week.
Gadsden County’s new positives rose by only 179 over the seven-day period and two additional deaths.
Another large increase took place in Thomas County over the last week with an additional nine new deaths attributed to COVID-19, according to Georgia D.P.H., while the number of new cases there was only 22 for a total case amount of 1,435.
The Georgia D.P.H. and Governor Brian Kemp are encouraging Georgians to follow Four Things for Fall COVID-19 prevention measures. Wear a face covering in public. Stay 6 feet away from others. Wash hands frequently with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to state public health authorities, is to avoid large gatherings, even those held outdoors. People who do not know they are infected can still spread COVID-19 to others who then continue the spread by infecting their household or their community. The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.
It is also important to remember that face coverings or masks are not a substitute for social distancing. Face coverings prevent the droplets produced by talking, coughing, or sneezing from leaving one person and infecting another. Wearing a face covering or mask is about protecting neighbors, friends, relatives and other members of the community, especially those at high-risk. Face coverings and social distancing together provide the best protection.
In recent weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have decreased in Georgia. By following the Four Things for Fall prevention measures, the downward trends can continue and we won’t see a surge of new infections like those that followed Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; and diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Patients should seek emergency medical attention if they have trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion; inability to wake or stay awake; or bluish lips or face, according to C.D.C. information.