No, the COVID pandemic in Cobb County is not over — March 18

image of coronavirus with "coronas" or crowns extending outward from a sphere

The COVID pandemic in Cobb County is not over. I wrote that headline because we’ve received pushback on running these update articles from a few readers who insist that the pandemic is “over.”

Yes the number of cases and deaths are dropping, and are much lower than they were at the peak of the two most recent surges, partly because the omicron variant has run its course, and partly because vaccination helps reduce both the number of new cases and the severity of the symptoms.

But 13 people died in Cobb County over the past week from COVID. There were 296 new cases diagnosed. And by the CDC’s standards we are in “moderate” transmission. Not even “low” much less “over.”

Here at the Courier we understand that everyone is fatigued by the pandemic, and wants everything completely back to normal. But self-delusion has never solved a health care crisis.

So we’ll continue reporting on this, and hope, like everyone else, that there is not another surge.

The numbers in this report were taken from the Georgia Department of Public Health COVID Daily Status Report, from the summary posted on the CDC County View data tracker, and from the Georgia Hospital Bed and Ventilator use report.

Cobb County numbers

The Georgia Department of Public Health displays its COVID statistics based on 14-day blocks.

New cases in Cobb over the past 14 days: 608

14-day case rate per 100,000 of population: 77

Number of Cases in Cobb since the pandemic began: 134,463

Cases per 100,000 of population since the pandemic began: 17.008

Cobb numbers and rate from the CDC County View

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gets its numbers from the Georgia Department of Public Health, but presents them in 7-day blocks rather than the 14-day blocks presented by the GDPH.

7-day Metrics

Case Rate per 100k38.94
% Positivity1.92%
% of population ≥ 5 years of age fully vaccinated61.6%
New admissions of confirmed COVID-19 among county residents (estimated)52

7-day percentage change

% Positivity-0.59%
% of population ≥ 5 years of age fully vaccinatedN/A
New admissions of confirmed COVID-19 among county residents (estimated)-27.1%

Statewide numbers

Reported Today 

Confirmed CasesAntigen Positive CasesConfirmed DeathsHospitalizations

Hospital bed and ventilator report

Region N which includes Cherokee, Cobb, Douglas and Paulding counties, has:

1,123 general inpatient beds in use out of 1,348 total beds, or 83.31%

156 ICU beds in use out of a total of 181 total ICU beds, or 86.19%.

139 ED beds in use out of 296 total beds, or 46.96%

71 ventilators in use out of 195 total ventilators, or 36.41%

4.9% of patients in Region N are classified as COVID-19 patients.

For more information 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