Cobb vaccine updates: county to hold virtual town hall

Welcome to Cobb County brick sign at Henderson Road on Veterans Memorial in article about Switzer Library reopeningCobb County welcome sign (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

Cobb County will hold a virtual town hall on the COVID-19 vaccine on January 19, and will be accepting questions via email in advance.

The county posted the following announcement about the town hall on its website:

We feel the frustration so many have experienced trying to secure vaccine appointments. We understand many of our residents over the age of 65 have compelling reasons to want to get vaccinated as soon as possible.  

Cobb County will host a virtual town hall with Cobb and Douglas Public Health officials at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, to share the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccination effort in our community.  You can watch the town hall live at facebook.com/cobbcountygovernment or youtube.com/cobbcountygovt.

This will also be an excellent opportunity to answer your questions. Please submit your questions now to comments@cobbcounty.org.

Dr. Janet Memark’s latest update

Dr. Janet Memark, the district health director for Cobb & Douglas Public Health issued the following update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the county:

Greetings Cobb and Douglas Counties,
 
We end this week in our communities with extraordinary numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. We have had over 63,000 COVID-19 cases (confirmed + probable) in the district with case rates over 1,000/100,000 people. The last two weeks alone revealed over 10,000 PCR and antigen cases. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are at their highest levels ever in the pandemic, with very few ICU and medical-surgical beds. We have had over 500 reported outbreaks throughout our district with cases rising in long-term care facilities, schools, and workplaces.

The offering of the two COVID-19 vaccines in our counties has been a ray of hope in this pandemic. We at Cobb & Douglas Public Health sincerely apologize for the website and registration difficulties that we had when the scheduling system was opened to citizens 65 and older. With only 80,000 vaccines a week available to the vaccination providers throughout the state, to say that the demand outstrips the resources is an understatement. All metro health departments and even major health systems faced challenges technically trying to schedule their appointments. CDPH will open their appointment slots at 5 p.m. on Fridays for scheduling the appointments for the week ahead. Once they are taken, you will encounter a message stating that. Our bi-weekly talks with the Georgia Department of Health reveal that they are actively working on plans to further increase the number of providers able to offer vaccinations including large retailers like Wal-Mart and Kroger. Although it is difficult to hear as this pandemic wears on, we urge patience to allow more providers to come online to offer the vaccination. 

The addition of the new variant of COVID-19 is an additional concern to an already dire situation. Undoubtedly, there are already some cases of this strain somewhere in our community. If we don’t slow the case numbers down, we will lose more and more people to this deadly pandemic. 

I know that we are all fatigued and stressed by the effects of this year-long pandemic. The vaccine is here and will be distributed faster and faster. We must all do what we can to give this plan time to work. The cases are exceptionally high right now. We will be feeling the effects of holiday gatherings. We urge all citizens to do what needs to be done to control the pandemic. Try your best to not leave your homes unless you absolutely have to leave. Try to telework when you can. Try not to gather with those outside of our households. Wear your masks in public. Wash your hands frequently. Do not leave your homes if you have COVID-19 or are in close contact with someone who had it. 

Working together as a community is the only way we will beat this pandemic.
 
Sincerely,  Janet Pak Memark M.D., M.P.H, F.A.C.P.
District Health Director
District 3-1: Cobb & Douglas Public Health

Department of Public Health 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

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