Dr. Memark sends new update on COVID-19 in Cobb & Douglas counties

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)

In a newsletter distributed this afternoon, Dr. Janet Memark, District Health Director for Cobb & Douglas Public Health gave an update on the COVID-19 pandemic. She reports a slight decrease in case numbers and expresses a hope that we’re on the downward slope of this latest surge.

She wrote the following:

Good afternoon Cobb and Douglas Counties.

The last two weeks have seen record numbers of COVID cases throughout the state and a record number of hospitalizations, as well. Although this week has shown a slight decrease in overall case numbers, we are awaiting any fallout from the Labor Day weekend. Even though overall numbers have decreased slightly, there is still an increase from last week in children 5-17 of 21%! The highest rates were seen in children 12-17 years old, being double that of adults.

We in Cobb and Douglas Counties continue to see very high transmission numbers throughout the district. Cobb County is at 799 cases/100,000 and Douglas County is at 1,060 cases/100,000. Percent positive of tests remains high at 13.4% for Cobb and 17.8% for Douglas County. We have seen a slight decrease in case numbers over the last few days. We hope this is a trend, but we won’t know until the Labor Day festivities are accounted for.

Hospitalizations remain high, but also seem to also be coming down a bit in Cobb County. Douglas County continues to have record high hospitalizations. Over 90% of COVID-19 hospitalizations, ICU utilization and ventilator utilization have been amongst the unvaccinated. Deaths are coming in at higher rates than previously as well. We are still seeing more older, and unvaccinated people succumbing to the virus.

Like most of you, I hope that we are on the downslope of this latest surge. Some folks have asked me about the next variant and what will happen. I don’t know exactly how bad it will be, but I do know if we continue to give this virus a chance to beat us, it will. Whatever the name of the next variant will be, we know that wearing your masks and getting vaccinated will still be part of the strategy to beat it.

I have spoken to many healthcare workers this week. I have heard their stories of how so many of their patients have refused the vaccine and are regretful as they gasp for air…of how they have shunned science and medicine, but insist on unproven medications that internet “doctors” have posted about…how they themselves became sick with COVID after their child was exposed at school…

I know so many of you are tired of the pandemic and don’t want to follow any more guidelines. I also know that many of us are literally physically and mentally tired. As many act like nothing is happening and gathering maskless in the tens of thousands, there are those who working in the background trying to help everyone who may have been exposed and ultimately become sick.

To our many heroes who are all trying to do the right thing and saving as many lives as you can in the process, I salute you. I appreciate your sacrifice and selflessness. Thank you.

Sincerely, 

Janet Pak Memark M.D., M.P.H, F.A.C.P.
District Health Director
District 3-1: Cobb & Douglas Public Health

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