By Joe Johnson
There are now more than 100 confirmed cases or coronavirus in Athens-Clarke County, with 12 deaths attributed to the disease, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The county ended last week with 81 confirmed cases of the highly-infectious disease and 10 deaths. Those numbers increased to 102 confirmed cases and 12 deaths, as of the DPH’s Thursday afternoon update.
The number of people who have died from the coronavirus in the 10-county Northeast Health District -- which includes Athens-Clarke, Barrow, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Jackson, Madison, Morgan, Walton, Greene, and Elbert counties -- increased from 21 on Monday afternoon to 22 as of noon Thursday, according to the DPH.
The number of confirmed cases of the novel 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia increased from 14,223 to 15, 669, and in that same timeframe the statewide death toll increased from 501 to 587 as of noon Thursday, according to the DPH.
Also in that same timeframe, the number of hospitalizations from the virus statewide increased from 2,769 to 3,108, according to the DPH.
In the 10-county Northeast Health District, Athens-Clarke County had the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 and deaths from the disease,
The county on Monday afternoon was followed by Barrow County, with 70 cases of the virus and three deaths, the DPH said.
The county in the health district with the next most confirmed cases of the disease is Walton, which increased from 46 to 55, with three deaths, according to the DPH.
Oconee saw a slight increase in confirmed coronavirus cases, from 41 at noon Monday to 45 on Thursday afternoon.
Coronavirus cases in Jackson County increased from 32 on Monday to 37 as of noon Thursday, with one death, according to the DPH, while Greene County added nine cases, bringing its total to 39, with one death.
Virus statistics in Madison increased from 12 to 14, and the number of deaths in the county remained the same, at one, according to the DPH.
Morgan County added two cases since Monday, bringing its total to 17 from 15 COVID-19 cases and Walton saw a significant increase from 46 to 55 cases, including three deaths, according to the DPH.
Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart and lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 and should always consult their healthcare provider if they are sick.
Long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and congregate living settings for older people must strictly follow COVID-19 prevention measures to stop rapid spread of the virus, according to the DPH.
Locally, at the PruittHealth-Grandview nursing home off North Chase Street, 10 residents have died from COVID-19, a death toll that was not reflected in DPH statistics.
PruittHealth’s Communications Department last Thursday released to Classic City News the following statement:
“We are saddened to share that 10 patients of PruittHealth – Grandview who previously tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 have passed away in the past few weeks. We cannot confirm the cause of death for any of these individuals...”
Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson said that coronavirus deaths are recorded in the patients’ counties of residence which makes it difficult when some residents are in homes for short periods of time, for reasons such as therapy, while others are permanent residents, which makes the county the facility is in their county of residence.
To view DPH coronavirus updates visit https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report