Cobb COVID-19 cases spike into high community transmission territory

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

After dropping steadily for a few months, Cobb County is back in the danger zone of “high community transmission,” of COVID-19 according to figures on the Cobb & Douglas Public Health website.

As of Saturday morning, the 2-week average of cases per 100,000 of population in Cobb County stands at 267, more than twice the 100 per 100,000 that is the threshold of high community transmission.

The recent rise has been steep and striking. Dr. Janet Memark, the District Health Director for Cobb & Douglas Public Health sounded a warning at the July 13 meeting of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, when cases reached 75 per 100,000.

Statewide and national surge in COVID-19

Cobb’s spike in COVID-19 cases plays out against the backdrop of a surge at the state and national levels.

According to a press release issued Friday by the Georgia Department of Public Health there has been a 204 percent increase in cases in Georgia.

The press release attributes this to the now-rampant Delta variant, and urges that residents get vaccinated.

The press release states:

The COVID case rate in Georgia has increased 204% over the last 14-day period.Yesterday new cases totaled 4,612 –the highest daily number since mid-February. Hospitalizations have increased by about 50% in the last 14 days, and deaths have increased by about 18% in the same period. Vaccination has stalled statewide and only 40% of Georgians are fully vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the Delta variant accounts for 78% of new COVID cases in Georgia, making vaccination more urgent than ever. The Delta variant spreads more than twice as easily from one person to another, compared with earlier strains. The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes are happening in places with low vaccination rates, and virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated.

“Unfortunately, we can expect COVID numbers to keep growing. People who are unvaccinated or skip their second dose of vaccine are targets for infection,” Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health said in the press release. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. High vaccination coverage will reduce spread of the virus in your community and elsewhere, and help prevent new variants from emerging.”