By Beau Evans / Capitol Beat and Nugget Staff Report
While the local COVID count continues to rise, the overall numbers have leveled off a bit for Lumpkin County lately.
Last week the number of coronavirus cases increased from 787 to 809, as of Monday according to reports from the Georgia Department of Public Health. That increase of 22 cases is significantly less than the sharply upswinging numbers of the past few weeks, which sat at 302 cases in early August.
Last week hospitalizations grew from 80 to 83, according to reports.
Fortunately the death rate, of 12 fatalities for the county, did not grow for the third consecutive week.
Meanwhile on a state level, public health officials highlighted promising downward trends in the COVID-19 pandemic following Labor Day weekend in Georgia.
Since early September, Georgia’s overall virus transmission rate has fallen by more than double digits through last Tuesday, according to data from the state Department of Public Health.
The seven-day average positivity rate – a key marker for assessing the virus’ spread – has dropped from 10.1% to 8.9% over the past roughly two weeks, according to the state agency.
Hospitalizations from coronavirus have also decreased since the start of September, though health experts have warned data on mortality and intensive-care visits typically lag by days or even weeks after outbreaks.
State officials and health experts pressed Georgians not to throw caution to the wind for the Labor Day holiday weekend, particularly in light of evidence that past holiday get-togethers in May and July likely sparked COVID-19 flare ups.
“We’ve come too far in our fight with COVID-19 to turn back now,” Gov. Brian Kemp said this week. “I’m asking Georgians to wear a mask, wash their hands, practice social distancing and follow public health guidance to stop the spread.”
According to statistics provided by the Lumpkin County School System to The Nugget on Monday, the LCSS reported that only two students (out of 3,752) have currently tested positive for the virus.
An additional 22 students are quarantined because they may have been exposed to someone who tested positive. That’s down from the 65 reported last week.
Only one staff member—(out of 538) has currently tested positive for the virus, according to reports. No staff members are currently quarantined for possible exposure.