School-aged COVID-19 cases in Cobb County over the past week

image of COVID-19 virus showing coronas with labels depicting each partThis illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. (public domain --provided by the CDC)

The trends in Cobb County and the rest of Georgia on COVID-19 cases among school-aged children are grim. The confirmed cases are in the high community transmission level and increasing in each of the three age categories the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) tracks (pre-school, elementary to high school, and college aged).

Each week the GDPH issues a report on COVID-19 cases among school-aged children.

The two units used for geography in the report are the state level and the county level, so while you can find the approximate trends and number of cases in your county, you can’t drill down to the local school level in these reports, but it still gives a good picture of the overall situation in your area.

A list of the reports under the heading “School Aged COVID-19 Surveillance Data” can be found by following this link.

The numbers in this week’s report in the Courier come from School Data Report 8/6/2021.

The GDPH explained why the three main age groups they are tracking are 0-4, 5-17, and 18-22:

Age categories were chosen based on the closest approximation to preschool/daycare aged children (0-4 years), K-12 school aged children (5-17 years old), and college/professional school aged adults (18-22 years). School Age Category: These age groups were chosen based on the closest approximation of children in elementary school (5-10 years), middle school (11-13 years), and high school (14-17 years).

Cobb County’s school-aged COVID-19 cases

For preschool children in Cobb, aged 0-4, there were 55 confirmed cases of COVID-19. That translates to a 14-day case rate of 117 per 100,000 of population for a community transmission level of “high” (anything 100 or greater is considered high community transmission). And this rate is designated as “increasing” over past weeks.

The 5-17 age group fares even worse. While the age group has more years to account for than the preschool years, the cases rate per 100,000 of population for the elementary, middle school, and high school years is 226, or more than twice the rate to qualify for high community transmission. The count of cases over the 14-day period is 298, and the trend is increasing.

A lot has been written about the habits of college-aged students that spread the coronavirus, and Cobb County is no exception, as the 14-day rate of cases per 100,000 of population is a whopping 378 in the 18-22 age range. That’s more than three and a half times the case rate to qualify as high community transmission.

State-wide trends

The table below, taken from the GDPH web page you can visit at this link, gives a sobering look at the increased in each age category at the state-wide level.

Note in particular the 82 percent rise in one week among preschool children.

Age CategoryTotal CasesCases per 100,000Cases Current WeekCases Previous Week% Change
0-4 Years165802522.046625682.0%
5-17 Years924204998.61894119858.1%
18-22 Years9065412383.2127083851.6%
Age CategoryTotal PCR Tests% PCR Positive% Positive Current Week% Positive Previous Week% Change
0-4 Years2398108.3%4.9%3.2%52.4%
5-17 Years86181012.2%8.3%5.7%46.9%
18-22 Years95376712.1%7.3%5.2%40.4%