HIAWASSEE, Ga – Towns County’s beginning to see an increase in cases possibly due to the spread of the Delta Variant in Georgia or people returning to normal.
According to Georgia Department of Health (DPH) Data, all North Georgia is again listed as high transmission communities as of August 9, 2021.
The Towns County indicator report, which comes out every two weeks, noted that from 7/24 – 7/30 11 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed, but the next week, the numbers grew to 29 confirmed cases.
Cases only recently began to increase in Towns. The county’s confirmed data has been a flat line since July 8, 2021.
COVID-19 associated emergency visits at the hospital between 7/30 – 8/6 were 17 percent. The previous week’s data was not calculated. Respiratory-related visits for the same time frame were 8 percent.
The statewide death rate doesn’t appear to match the recent surge in cases. However, this data takes a few weeks after the initial confirmed cases uptick to determine. Still, both numbers increase almost daily.
Health officials are urging the unvaccinated to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Unfortunately, we can expect COVID numbers to keep growing. People who are unvaccinated or skip their second dose of vaccine are targets for infection,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. High vaccination coverage will reduce spread of the virus in your community and elsewhere – and help prevent new variants from emerging.”
Vaccination rates in Towns County reached 45 for fully vaccinated and 48 percent with at least one shot.
Some breakthrough infections of COVID-19 are occurring among the vaccinated, but it’s a small portion. According to DPH, of the 4 million fully vaccinated, 0.12 percent have tested positive, and 0.00058 percent have died.
The Delta Variant has proven to be more contagious than previous iterations of COVID-19. Some data on variant suggests more severe illness can result from infection than the original strain. According to the CDC, vaccinated individuals who experience a symptomatic breakthrough can transmit the virus to others. At this time, it’s unclear if an asymptomatic breakthrough can transmit it to others. Vaccinated people do appear to be infectious for a shorter amount of time.
The CDC recommends that everyone, even fully vaccinated, wear a mask indoors in high transmission areas.