White County is approaching 600 total confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The DPH’s Sept. 8 date of symptom onset report listed 593 confirmed cases in White County since the first one was reported in mid-March.
Based on preliminary figures from the report, the county ended August with 585 total confirmed cases. As of Sept. 8, DPH reported that there had been 16 deaths attributed to the coronavirus and 86 hospitalizations in White County. The ages of the deceased listed include men ages 26, 60, 65, 68, 81, 83, 85 and 88, and women ages 43, 71, 76, 77, 82, 88 and two over 90. All but two are listed as having chronic health conditions.
As of Sept. 7, the White County Emergency Management Agency considered 396 cases to be recoveries out of 592 cases reported to DPH at that time. A patient is considered to have recovered 21 days after a confirmed case report is provided to the county.
White County Schools
The White County School System weekly COVID-19 status report on Sept. 9 said there were currently eight students who had reported positive for COVID-19 and 88 students quarantined for possible exposure at that time. At that time, there was one report of a staff member with a positive COVID-19 test, and seven staff members quarantined for possible exposure.
The reported numbers reflect students and staff who are out on that particular day – in this case, Sept. 9 – because of either a positive test or exposure to somebody with COVID-19, Director of Student Improvement Cindy Free has previously said. However, these are not cumulative numbers.
The school system currently has 3,731 students enrolled and 557 staff members.
State public health officials highlighted promising downward trends in the COVID-19 pandemic following Labor Day weekend in Georgia as researchers race to evaluate potential vaccines.
Since early last week, Georgia’s overall virus transmission rate has fallen by more than double digits through Tuesday, according to data from the state Department of Public Health.
The seven-day average positivity rate – a key marker for assessing the virus’ spread – has dropped from 10.1% to 8.9% over the past roughly two weeks, according to the state agency.
Hospitalizations from coronavirus have also decreased since the start of September, though health experts have warned data on mortality and intensive-care visits typically lag by days or even weeks after outbreaks.
State officials and health experts pressed Georgians not to throw caution to the wind for the Labor Day holiday weekend, particularly in light of evidence that past holiday get-togethers in May and July likely sparked COVID-19 flare ups.
“We’ve come too far in our fight with COVID-19 to turn back now,” Gov. Brian Kemp said this week. “I’m asking Georgians to wear a mask, wash their hands, practice social distancing and follow public health guidance to stop the spread.”
Capitol Beat News Service staff writer Beau Evans contributed to this report.