It was a brutal week in Northwest Georgia.
- 43 people died of COVID between Sept. 3 and Sept. 10 in the region. That doesn’t include four more probable deaths.
- 2,057 new cases were detected over seven days: 739 live in Floyd; 512 in Bartow; 249 in Gordon; 351 in Polk; and 206 in Chattooga.
- 333 virus patients were being treated in four area hospitals on Friday: Floyd, Redmond, Piedmont Cartersville and AdventHealth Gordon. The Rome hospitals had 221 patients vs. the first wave peak of 166 on Jan. 6 of this year.
All increases, some at alarming rates, and we could be weeks away from seeing the peak of the delta variant. Dr. Gary Voccio, the director of the Northwest District for Georgia’s Department of Public Health, says some estimates are stating a plateau could occur later this month. Voccio, citing football games and other ongoing public gatherings, is far less optimistic. “We might not see peak for a very long time,” he said is his weekly Facebook Live update posted Thursday (see below).
But Voccio was a bit more optimistic when it came to vaccinations, citing some upticks. We have the latest data, through Sept. 10, in charts above and below. More than 2,900 received their first dose last week — less than the week before but remember last Monday was the Labor Day holiday and some Public Health offices were closed or operating on abbreviated schedules.
Some 37.7% of our nearly 337,000 residents have had at least one dose (and remember that includes those too young for vaccinations right now). Floyd is the highest at 42% with the others at 38% except Chattooga at 37%.
Around 32.4% of Northwest Georgia is fully vaccinated with nearly 2,500 crossing that line last week — the highest number in recent weeks. Again, Floyd is the leader at 37% with most others at 32% except Gordon County at 33%.
As for the virus, 13.2% of our five-county area — more than 44,000 people — have tested positive since March 2020. What’s scary: Since Aug. 31, we’ve seen 3,543 test positive here — in just 10 days, that represents 8% of the pandemic total that began to accumulate 18 months ago.