Cobb & Douglas Public Health presents upbeat COVID report to BOC

Lisa Crossman speaking at Board of Commissioners meetingLisa Crossman at Board of Commissioners Meeting (screenshot from video of meeting)

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, Lisa Crossman, the Deputy Director of Cobb & Douglas Public Health presented an upbeat report on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Cobb County.

The rate of new cases for the past two weeks has dropped to 55 per 100,000 of the population, significantly below the high transmission zone of above 100 that the county had been stuck in for months.

Crossman said that she expects that number to drop to below 50 sometime within the next week.

Transcript of Lisa Crossman’s presentation

Here is a transcript of Crossman’s presentation, edited for length and clarity.

Good morning, everyone. I’m Lisa Crossman. I’m Deputy Director for Cobb & Douglas Public Health.

Happy to see you this morning. Happy to be just carrying my mask in case I get in a tight spot.

But I have great news for us this morning.

Dr. Memark sends her regrets. She was not able to join us this morning, but wanted me to send her appreciation for continuing to include us as part of your meeting this morning.

So let’s get started.

I have just a quick update for you. If you look at our Cobb case rates for the last two weeks, as of yesterday, we are now at 55 cases per 100,000.

Remember that when we got under 100, we were at “moderately high”.

We expect that as we get under 50, that’s kind of a moderate level. We expect to reach that this week, if all goes well.

So the numbers continue to come down. We’re so excited about this.

If we look at the seven-day case rate for the past week, we are down to 25 cases per 100,000. And so that’s even more encouraging.

If you look at our positivity rate (remember that positivity is a reflection of how many positive tests are coming back of all the tests that are being done in the community), it is also a reflection of community spread.

We always want to see that number well below 5% trending, and so right now we’re seeing a positivity rate of 1.9%. So that’s great news.

All of our metrics that we’re tracking are going in the right direction.

We are seeing low to stable hospitalizations. So that’s also a good indicator that we’re coming out of this.

I do want to just continue to be a little bit cautious for those particularly who are in close contact with a high number of people, or for those people who are unvaccinated, that we’re still seeing a very high percentage of the UK variants in Georgia and in Cobb County.

Right now, it looks like the vaccinations are are protecting us from that variant. But we also just want to continue to be a bit cautious when we’re in close confines with folks that may not be vaccinated.

So let’s talk about our vaccination rate right now. You can always get this from the Georgia Department of Public Health website or you can link to it from our website.

In Georgia, as of yesterday, 41% of all of our residents had at least one dose of vaccine. 34% are fully vaccinated right now.

In Cobb County we’re trending a little bit above that. We had 44% with one dose and 37% fully vaccinated.

I want to remind everybody that vaccines are still available to anyone 12 and above, across Cobb County and across Georgia.

Moderna, J&J, and the Pfizer vaccine are readily available. Most locations, including Jim Miller Park, are taking appointments as well as walkups without appointments, so we encourage anyone 12 and up to get vaccinated.

We especially are encouraging our children 12 and above to get vaccinated, particularly before they may go to summer camps.

Remember the last time we spoke to you we were talking about ramping down at Jim Miller Park? Our last day there will be June 19. That’s a Saturday and we’ll finish up at Miller Park.

That does not mean that we are done vaccinating. We will continue indefinitely with pop-up vaccination events all over Cobb County and be doing that until we don’t see a need for that.

We have some set locations, for example, up at KSU BrandsMart, and down at the EpiCenter in South Cobb, and then we have various pop-up events. We also are encouraging that if there’s a business you have or a location that has 25 or more people who would like to get vaccinated, we are happy to come out free of charge to provide vaccinations. And we’re doing that pretty much six days a week.