COVID-19 deaths per 100k of population creeps steadily upward in Cobb County

coronavirus under electron microscopeCoronavirus under electron microscope (image by Felipe Esquivel Reed, licensed under CC-SA 4.0)

A month ago we reported on the numbers from the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the COVID-19 deaths in Cobb County per 100k of population on June 23 stood at 29.6 with 234 deaths.

SInce then Cobb has seen a slow but steady increase in the number of deaths in the county and now, with 276 total deaths, we stand at 34.9 deaths per 100k.

Bear in mind that in the short-term, the estimated population of the county remains fixed, so as long as any deaths are added to the total, the number of deaths per 100k will increase at least a fraction.

But the increase in confirmed cases, the lag in test results, and the increase in confirmed cases among younger people, has caused the medical and public health community in Cobb to sound the alarm.

Dr. Janet Memark, the District Health Director of Cobb & Douglas Public Health was interviewed by Cobb County Communications Director Ross Cavitt for the video posted below.

Slightly more than 1 person per day on average has died of COVID-19 in the county since this time last month.

That puts us in second place, behind only Fulton, for total number of deaths.

Still, Cobb County has nowhere near the highest death rate for Georgia when adjusted for population. That tragic distinction goes to Hancock County, a county to the southeast of the Atlanta metro area with only 8,193 residents. Their 33 deaths adds up to an average of 402.8 deaths per 100,000 of population.

The daily status report

The daily status report from the Georgia Department of Public Health is posted daily at 3 p.m.

In addition to the total confirmed cases, hospitalization and death, the report includes other information such as demographic breakdown by race/ethnicity, sex and age.

You can also download the data in CSV format at this link, so you can open it in a spreadsheet and build different views of the data yourself.

There is also a guide to understanding the data here.

The Georgia Department of Public Health describes the data collection process as follows:

The Daily Status Report is updated once daily at 3 p.m. Data are reported to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) from numerous labs, hospitals and providers in various ways.

Electronic Laboratory Reports (ELR) are data files transmitted to DPH that contain patient identifiers, test information and results. Individual “case” reports may also be submitted through DPH’s secure web portal, SendSS, from healthcare providers and other required reporters. These reports often contain more specific patient information. In either reporting scenario, data may be incomplete.

Data displayed on the DPH Daily Status Report reflect the information transmitted to DPH, but may not reflect all current tests or cases due to timing of testing and data reporting