Critical care beds in Cobb County are critically low

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

Dr. Janet Memark, the District Health Director for Cobb & Douglas Public Health reported an alarming rise in new cases of COVID-19 in Cobb per 100,000 of population with critical care beds critically low.

She sent the following update:

Greetings to our Cobb and Douglas residents and partners. 
I hope you all had safe holidays. As we embark into this first weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday, I wish I had better tidings to share with you. Just this morning, I have been alerted to an alarming number of cases being reported to public health this week. The timing is right for the beginnings of the results of any activities over the Thanksgiving break.
Emergency Room Visits and hospitalizations are on the rise. Critical care beds for the district remain critically low, while medical/surgical beds are still available. We still have a large number of beds being occupied by non-COVID-19 patients, but do see a continuing rise in patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization.
News of the COVID-19 vaccines continues to come out and we learn more and more every day. We know that there is close to 95% efficacy for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended to the CDC that healthcare personnel and nursing home residents should be prioritized for the first allotment of vaccine. We anticipate that the first batches to arrive will be smaller batches, with more and more coming out over the ensuing weeks to months.
Remember that vaccines for the general population are still months away. Because we have moved into the winter months and more holiday gatherings, we have now started a very treacherous part of our battle against COVID-19. We must change our behavior to be able to make any changes in the trajectory of this outcome. If we don’t, we will lose more and more lives to this virus. We need to wear our masks, maintain our distances, wash our hands and not go out unnecessarily at this point. Try your best to keep within your immediate families until we flatten the curve. If you are elderly or medically fragile, please heed caution when going out. Stay at home as best as you can,  but seek medical attention for your chronic medical conditions.
Working together with each other, for each other, is the only way that we will prevail.
Please be safe…..
Janet Pak Memark M.D., M.P.H, F.A.C.P.
District Health Director
District 3-1: Cobb & Douglas Public Health

She also referred to a graph in the COVID-19 Daily Update from the Georgia Department of Public Health:


Cobb: More than 2,459 cases have been reported in Cobb County in the last two weeks, with a 2-week case rate of 311 per 100,000 people (as of 12/03/20). This case number has been rising over the last few weeks and seems to be following surges that we are seeing across the nation. Please remember that anything over 100 cases/100K is considered HIGH community transmission. Also note: this graph only includes PCR positives, it does not include antigens.

To view the graph visit the COVID-19 Daily Status Report.

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