Floyd and Polk counties each saw an additional resident die from covid in the past seven days while Bartow lost another person to causes likely associated with the virus.
The latest state Department of Public Health reports also show Floyd had a much higher reported infection rate per 100,000 residents than the rest of Georgia. Floyd saw 169 cases over the past two weeks vs. 91 across the state. Surrounding counties were closer to the state average.
The weekly summary shows 169 new cases reported in our five counties for the seven days ending Wednesday vs. 250 cases through Feb. 8. The local breakdown:
♦ Floyd: 73 new cases vs. 93 as of Feb. 8.
♦ Bartow: 61 cases reported vs. 84.
♦ Gordon: 11 cases vs. 41.
♦ Polk: 19 cases vs. 25.
♦ Chattooga: 5 cases vs. 7.
Rome hospitals: No new reports since Jan. 26.
Georgia’s “tripledemic” — the simultaneous outbreaks of flu, covid, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) — is on the decline, state epidemiologist Cherie Drenzek said Wednesday.
The flu season started early and peaked in October both nationally and in Georgia, Drenzek told members of the Georgia Board of Public Health during its first meeting since November. Hospitalizations are down by about 60% since last week in metro Atlanta, the sole region where DPH tracks the data.
Despite the decline in the amount of flu activity, severe outcomes including death are higher nationally than in past years. So far this flu season, 97 children have died from the flu nationwide, including six just this past week. Drenzek said older adults and young children are the most likely to experience severe outcomes such as hospitalization and death.
The pattern for RSV, which typically causes cold-like symptoms but can be serious in young children, has been similar to the pattern for flu. The RSV season began early and peaked in October, Drenzek said.
There is also good news when it comes to COVID-19. The level of hospitalizations for elderly Georgians is about one-fifth of what it was at this time last year, Drenzek said. Deaths have also decreased.
The decline in severe outcomes indicates covid vaccines and boosters are working, Drenzek said. Though the risk has decreased, many are still vulnerable to covid, with more than 3,000 people still dying of it each week in the United States.
“Flu vaccine and bivalent (covid) boosters remain critical for those at risk,” Drenzek said.
Capitol Beat News Service contributed to this report.