She wrote the following in an update distributed today:
Good morning Cobb and Douglas counties.
Today, I hope to bring better tidings to our communities on the COVID-19 front. It appears that we are finally on the downslope of this the Delta surge. We are seeing decreases in case counts, positive percentage of tests and hospitalizations. Unfortunately, death is the last indicator, and we continue to see COVID-19 deaths being reported to us daily.
Please remember as we see COVID-19 cases continue to drop, we are still in high transmission for both counties. Cobb County has 605 cases per 100,000 and Douglas is at 726 cases/100,000. Positive percentage rates are also 10.9 and 14.6% respectively. All of these indicators are still in the HIGH range, and we need to continue to push them down a significant amount. Our Cobb hospitals are still reporting SEVERE status and Wellstar Douglas now reports a BUSY status.
Some of you have heard the news about the Pfizer boosters approved by the FDA and now the CDC. The CDC has released recommendations for the booster dose to be eligible for Americans aged 65 and older, adults with underlying medical conditions and adults in high-risk working and institutional settings.
We are awaiting more guidance for each of the categories, but the vaccines will be ready to be given starting Monday. Remember that these boosters have only been approved for those who received the Pfizer vaccine series at least 6 months ago, and boosters will be available anywhere that offers the vaccine.
Also, remember that the 3rd dose for people with immunocompromising conditions like transplants and active cancer treatment is still available for those who received Moderna and Pfizer at this time. The FDA and CDC are working quickly to make recommendations for boosters for people who received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, and we will share those recommendations as soon as they are available.
The last thing I will leave you with today is to remind you that cooler weather also brings influenza. Due to precautions taken against COVID-19 last year, we had a negligible flu season. We have seen a resurgence of other respiratory viruses wreaking havoc already-like RSV. Please remember that you can get some pretty good protection from the flu by getting a flu shot. You can come to the health department, go to your primary care provider or many retail providers to get your shot.
Please enjoy this new season of fall and of hope that all the progress we have made against the COVID-19 Pandemic pays off, and that we do not see another surge.
Janet Pak Memark M.D., M.P.H, F.A.C.P.
District Health Director
District 3-1: Cobb & Douglas Public Health