Cupid calls virtual town hall to talk COVID in Cobb County

Cobb BOC Chairwoman Lisa Cupid at lectern during her second swearing-in ceremonyCobb Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Lisa Cupid at her second swearing-in as District 4 commissioner (Photo: Cobb County Courier/Larry Felton Johnson)

Chairwoman Lisa Cupid of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners announced a virtual town hall meeting for Thursday, January 13 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the COVID-19 surge and its effect on the county.

Dr. Janet Memark, District Health Director for Cobb & Douglas Public Health, and Dr. Danny Branstetter, Wellstar’s Medical Director of Infectious Disease, will join Cupid in the discussion.

Both Memark and Branstetter have been involved in getting information about COVID-19 to the community and to the Board of Commissioners since the early days of the pandemic.

According to an announcement in the county’s newsletter, “They will discuss topics including the impact on healthcare in the county and the stress on the hospital system, the importance of vaccines in fighting the spread and the best way to get tested.”


You can send questions in advance by emailing comments@cobbcounty.org, or comment during the town hall which will be streamed on YouTube and Facebook.

Background

Cobb County’s transmission rate for COVID-19 has been in the high range as designated by the CDC since early in the pandemic.

During the July of last summer, it seemed the case rate per 100,000 of population was settling toward low transmission, but the Delta variant brought a new surge.

Image above from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

After a brief drop when the Delta variant of COVID-19 peaked in the fall of last year, cases began sharply rising again with the onset of the much more transmissible (but also less virulent) Omicron variant.

At this point, the numbers have climbed sharply, and according to the latest COVID-19 Daily Status Report from the Georgia Department of Public Health, released January 10, Cobb County has a case rate of 2,120.19 new cases per 100,000 of the population for the latest 14-day period.

Declaration of Emergency

Due to this recent spike in COVID-19 in Cobb County, Chairwoman Cupid reinstated the county’s Declaration of Emergency on December 22, 2021. It includes a mask mandate at all county facilities under the control of the Board of Commissioners.

The county issued the following news release at the time of the reinstatement:

Marietta, GA | December 22, 2021 – Cobb County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Lisa Cupid has signed a new Declaration of Emergency for the county after consulting with public health officials about the dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases.  The declaration will enable the county to implement its Emergency Operations Plan, hold all or portions of public meetings virtually, and encourage residents to take precautions to avoid further spread of the Omicron variant of the virus.


“Public Health officials warn me this variant is spreading at an alarming rate,” Chairwoman Cupid said.  “The stress on our hospitals is increasing, and both public and private COVID testing facilities are overwhelmed.  Even though this is just prior to Christmas, I wanted to act quickly to help slow the spread of this new variant in our community.”


The declaration urges residents to help slow the spread by taking these actions: getting vaccinated and/or boosted, wearing masks indoors with others, and avoiding crowded situations.


At the same time, County Manager Dr. Jackie McMorris will again require the wearing of masks inside county government facilities.  This reinstitutes a policy that lapsed in November.

“Much like the community, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases within the Cobb government family,” said Dr. McMorris.  “Requiring the wearing of masks and increasing social distancing in our facilities will hopefully help protect both our employees and the residents that they serve.”


The policy will require masks to be worn while inside Cobb government buildings including libraries, indoor parks facilities, and senior centers.  This policy does NOT affect:

  • Privately-run businesses in the county,
  • The Cobb County School District which is governed by the Board of Education, and;
  • The Cobb County court complex, which has been under its own mask mandate by judicial order.
  • ​Chairwoman Cupid had initially signed a Declaration of Emergency over the spread of COVID-19 in Cobb County in August and signed two extensions that kept the declaration in place until mid-November.  This current declaration will run through January 22​, 2022.

For more data on COVID in Cobb County and statewide

Cobb & Douglas Public Health runs the case rate on their home page, although it is not updated frequently.

Visit the Cobb & Douglas Public Health home page by following this link

A more frequently updated summary of the statistics on COVID for Cobb County is the CDC’s County View page for Cobb County. The numbers come from the Georgia Department of Public Health but are displayed in a much easier-to-read way than the sprawling GDPH website. From this page you can get the one-week figures on the number of new cases, case rate per 100,000 of population, hospitalizations, deaths, and the percentage change from the previous 7-day period. It also includes data on testing and vaccination rates.

Visit the CDC County View page for Cobb County by following this link

The Georgia Department of Public Health publishes a daily status report on the pandemic every afternoon at around 3 p.m. It’s a comprehensive report with extensive data and charts arranged statewide and by county, that also includes age breakdowns, racial demographics, and data on vaccination and testing.

It isn’t the easiest system to navigate, but it’s worth spending time learning how to use if you’re interested in getting the latest statewide and local data on the state of COVID-19.

Visit the Georgia Department of Public Health Daily Status Report by following this link

To get an overview of how much the pandemic is stressing the hospital systems in terms of ER visits, hospital bed capacity, and ventilator use, there is a Hospital Bed and Ventilator Use report with interactive maps. The map is organized by hospital region, and Cobb County is part of Region N.

Visit the Georgia Hospital Beds and Ventilator Report by following this link

To get data on what percentage of patients in Georgia hospitals were admitted for COVID-19 versus all other causes, there is a Georgia Medical Facility Patient Census. It also reports numbers by statewide and hospital region.

Visit the Georgia Medical Facility Patient Census by following this link

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