The Georgia Department of Public Health has seen a continuing decrease in the median age of positive COVID-19 cases over the last month — bringing the median age now to 39.
Median age means half the people are older and half are younger. For the Northwest Georgia region.
“Only a few weeks ago it was 55,” Northwest Georgia District DPH Director Dr. Gary Voccio said. “This just implies that more younger people are acquiring COVID-19.”
According to the DPH daily status report, of the 156,588 cases in Georgia, 38,321 are in the 18-29 age range, which is the group with the most cases right now.
Voccio and Director of Communications Logan Boss attribute this increase to younger people getting tested more and not following the strict guidelines that older people are still following when out in public.
“They go into bars and restaurants and et cetera and they get sick and get tested or they become interested in getting tested,” Voccio said.
The counties in the Northwest Georgia Health District have seen their positive rates go from 6% to 14%, according to Voccio. This is considered fairly high for people testing positive for COVID-19, with Floyd itself having an 11% positive rate.
“The difficulty with interpreting that is, we haven’t tested everyone,” Voccio said. “We think, when you do the reading, we’re going to see about a 2% to 3% positive rate in the entire region, but that is just a guess.”
When looking at graphs and summary reports, Voccio said there may be a slowdown, but he added that it’s hard to tell because many test results don’t come back for five to seven days.
The counties in the surrounding area have experienced similar increases in the past month, according to Voccio.
Floyd County’s case numbers went from 905 on Wednesday to 941 on Thursday.
Gordon County’s cases went from 723 to 749 during the same period. Bartow County — which had one of the biggest outbreaks at the beginning of the pandemic — had 38 new cases, bringing their total number to 1,252. Polk County’s cases went from 439 to 457 and Paulding’s increased from 1,110 to 1,146.
At Floyd Medical Center, there were 29 confirmed positive patients Thursday and seven under investigation. Redmond Regional Medical Center had 17 COVID-19 patients Thursday.
Voccio recommends people continue to socially distance — remain at least 6 feet apart from others in public — as well as wear a mask and keep their hands sanitized.
“I think the most important part is the 6-foot distancing. I think that’s the major portion, but you have to combine all three to combat this pandemic,” Voccio said.