By Joe Johnson
After the coronavirus death toll in Athens-Clarke County last week reached double digits, the number of confirmed cases of the deadly virus in the county is nearing 100, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The county ended last week with 81 confirmed cases of the highly-infectious and 10 deaths as of noon Friday and had 95 cases on Monday afternoon, according to the DPH, which updates its coronavirus status report twice daily, at noon and 7 p.m.
The number of people who have died from the coronavirus in the 10-county Northeast Health District, which includes Athens-Clarke, increased since Friday afternoon from 18 to 21 as of noon Monday, the DPH said.
The number of confirmed cases of the novel 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia increased from 11,483, with 416 deaths on Friday to 14,223 cases and 501 deaths as of noon Monday, according to the DPH.
In that same timeframe, the number of hospitalizations from the virus statewide increased from 2,351 to 2,769, 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 58 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 Oconee, which increased from 36 as of noon Friday to 41 as of noon, Monday, according to the DPH. The DPH last week reported that one patient died in Oconee, but on Monday the agency had experienced no deaths.
Coronavirus cases in Jackson County increased from 26 on Friday to 32, while its deaths from the virus remained steady at one, according to the DPH, while Greene County added five cases, bringing its total to 30, with one death.
Virus statistics in Madison increased from nine to 12, and the number of deaths in the county remained the same, at one, according to the DPH.
Morgan County added one case over the weekend, bringing its total and had 95n jumped from 15 COVID-19 cases and Walton saw a significant increase from 36 to 46 cases, including two 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.
The DPH identified the Athens residents with underlying medical conditions who died from the virus as a males aged 60, 72, 79 and 98, and female patients aged 78 and 79.
Other Clarke County COVID-19 fatalities who were not known to have underlying health problems included two 65-year-old women, and a woman aged 78, and also males aged 68, 76, and two of whom were 85, the DPH said.
An 89-year-old Clarke County woman who died had no underlying medical conditions, the DPH said.
The patients in Barrow County who died were men, ages 64 and 66 and a 91-year-old woman, all of whom had underlying medical conditions, the DPH said, and the Madison County fatality was a 71-year-old man with a pre-existing health condition.
It was unknown if the 83-year-old man from Oglethorpe County who died from COVID-19 had any underlying medical conditions, according to the DPH.
The patients in Walton County who died from COVID-19 were both men, ages 74 and 75, but the DPH did not know if they had underlying healt issues.
Neither the 83-yer-old Oglethorpe County man nor the 85-year-old Oconee County man who died from the disease had underlying medical condition, according to the DPH.
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 on 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, like for therapy, while others are permanent residents, which makes the county the home is in their county of residence.
The Northeast Healtrh District counties have recorded a total of 308 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 21 deaths from the disease, according to the DPH.