Three counties in the immediate area considered by the state Department of Public Health as high transmission areas — Floyd, Chattooga and Bartow.

The Department of Public Health classifies any county that has a rate of over 100 new cases per 100,000 people during a two week period as a high transmission area.

Floyd, with a population just under 100,000, had 383 new cases in the past two weeks. Bartow had 229 with a population of just over 110,000 and Chattooga had 83 with a population just under 25,000.

Floyd County also had the dubious distinction of recently eclipsing Bartow County in the number of cumulative COVID-19 cases. Floyd has recorded 2,746 cases to Bartow’s 2,713 cases.

That two-week number of new COVID-19 cases continues to creep back up toward the 400 mark after a period of time where the number of new cases trended downward.

Public health officials have also stated their concern of a possible spike in cases and hospitalizations after Labor Day — like the ones seen following previous holiday weekends in Georgia.

Those spikes led to increased hospitalizations. It also led to the deadliest month locally — August, which accounted for the death of 17 Floyd County residents. So far, 39 COVID-19 positive locals have died from the disease.

As of Tuesday, Floyd Medical Center and Redmond Regional Medical Center were housing 45 confirmed COVID-19 patients. That number has been dropping slowly, an encouraging sign.

Floyd County had a 11.9% positive rate as of Tuesday, which has been slowly increasing over the past two weeks. That rate is what public health officials look at to indicate how widespread an infection is in the area.

A higher percentage of positive tests could mean that the number of total tests is too low, or could suggest higher transmission rates and more people in the community carrying the coronavirus who have not been tested yet.

Statewide the positivity rate has decreased from 8.9% on Aug. 31 to 8.1% on Sept. 7 and to 7.7% on Sept. 14. That’s a hopeful trend for the state.

Throughout the state, people in the age group of 30 to 59 consistently show the highest infection rates for the disease. As school went back into session the DPH also began releasing numbers that broke down age ranges for preschool, school and college age Georgians.

In details released on Sept. 11, the state broke down the age ranges focusing on school aged residents infected overall in Floyd County:

0-4: 47

5-17: 300

18-22: 265

23+: 1,862

The DPH also released breakdowns focusing on school age residents who have been infected in the past two weeks:

0-4: 4

5-17: 55

18-22: 61

23+: 260

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