Memark on COVID-19 crisis in Cobb County: “I’m tired and I can’t believe we are here again.”

Janet Memark speaks at Healthy Start meeting used in article about COVID cases in CobbJanet Memark speaks at Healthy Start meeting (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

Dr. Janet Memark, District Health Director for Cobb & Douglas Public Health once again painted a grim picture of the COVID-19 crisis in Cobb County in a county-produced video.

While the video was in production the 14-day cases per 100,000 of population in the county jumped from 399 to 446, requiring a penned-in edit of the video. That’s 4.46 times the number of cases required to be designated as a high transmission hot spot.

“If anybody’s paying attention, we’re seeing (a surge) throughout the United States, and we’re not alone in all of this,” Memark said. “But what’s concerning is that we have lower vaccination numbers than the nation.”

“What we’re seeing right now is that we have a 200 percent increase in COVID cases in the last 14 days, and a 58 percent increase over the last seven days,” said Dr. Memark.

“There’s a huge amount of activity right now. driven by the delta (variant), that we’ve talked about before,” she said. “This is much more contagious, over 200 percent more contagious than the original strain.”

COVID in the schools

“We are seeing a lot of school activity right now with COVID cases,” she said.

“Whenever you’re indoors right now, people need to be wearing their masks, regardless of vaccination status,” she said. “I saw a lot of crowds this weekend, a lot of people that we’re not masking up.”

“And so we all need to mask up right now, when we’re in the schools,” Memark said.

“I would consider if you have other options, if your children are having any sort of chronic disease or especially respiratory conditions … then probably being in-person school, it’s probably not the safest time right now while cases are so high,” said Dr. Memark. “We are seeing an increase in in the number of cases that we’re seeing in under 18 (years of age). And we’re seeing an increase in hospitalizations as well.”

“And that’s throughout the nation, especially in the southeast with the fact that people are not vaccinated and children can’t get vaccinated,” she said. “So please, please send your children to school with their mask on, because it’s it’s very important as we tried to bring these cases down.”

She said that if the pandemic is not under control soon, a winter surge will be the worst yet.

“I reviewed today some data that we’re seeing from Florida … and you compare them, you know, we’re following right in their footsteps and they’re having record-breaking hospitalizations,” Dr. Memark said.

Watch the complete video