Cobb COVID case rate now a whopping 7.56 time the threshold of high community transmission

coronavirus image -- a white sphere with red corona spikes emanating outwardThis illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. (public domain image)

Like most news organizations, we tend to be careful in the use of superlatives in hard news articles. But the latest number on COVID-19 in Cobb County from Cobb & Douglas Public Health deserves words of alarm.

The community spread of the coronavirus continues its relentless upward trajectory, and the latest 14-day cases per 100,000 has now reached 756, or 7.56 times the threshold for high community transmission.

A rate of 100 or more is cause for alarm.

Douglas County’s numbers are even worse, at a staggering 14-day rate of 835 per 100,000 of population.

There is a bit of good news though

There is a bit of good news, though.

The FDA has given full approval to the Pfizer vaccine.

In a press release announcing the approval, the FDA announced:

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”