Decline in Georgia’s Covid numbers may be just a lull

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The latest information on Covid in Georgia seems fairly good – circumstances, hospitalizations and deaths have all dropped to a low plateau, state well being officers mentioned Tuesday.

However the variety of vaccinations has additionally proven a latest decline, with the speed of Georgia residents absolutely vaccinated now hovering at about 50 %. Throughout October, vaccinations dropped 30 % to 40 %.

That might change since latest approval of the Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11.

But Cherie Drenzek, the state epidemiologist, instructed the Georgia Division of Public Well being’s board that she stays cautious about what lies forward. “This virus does nothing however shock us,’’ she mentioned.

 

Almost all of the latest hospitalizations and deaths have occurred in unvaccinated people, she mentioned.

The virus is surging in some states within the West, and in addition in Europe, Drenzek mentioned. California, New Mexico and Colorado, together with some Northern states, have seen case numbers rise over the previous two weeks, based on knowledge within the New York Instances.

New circumstances within the Southeast stay very low, she mentioned.

In Georgia, simply 8 % of counties have excessive transmission charges, Drenzek mentioned. They embrace Chattahoochee County, which is residence to a big a part of the Military’s Fort Benning, and Bacon County in southeast Georgia.

Dr. Harry Heiman, a public well being professional at Georgia State College, mentioned Tuesday that there are optimistic and inspiring developments on Covid within the state, “however we’re removed from out of the woods.’’

“Our vaccination price in Georgia stays among the many worst within the nation, which implies that if there may be one other Delta surge over the vacations, there are nonetheless many weak Georgians, particularly in rural components of the state,’’ Heiman mentioned.

“Now’s a time to stay vigilant, work even more durable to extend vaccination charges, together with amongst newly eligible youngsters, and never again away from evidence-based practices like indoor masks mandates . . . or dispose of masks mandates in faculties,’’ he added.

Georgia Public Well being officers are encouraging companies to supply incentives for staff to get vaccinated.

Gov. Brian Kemp, who has additionally promoted vaccinations in Georgia, nonetheless joined state Lawyer Normal Chris Carr, together with Alabama and Florida officers, in submitting a lawsuit Friday to problem a federal order requiring firms with 100 or extra workers to impose necessary Covid vaccinations of their employees or weekly testing by Jan. 4.

An analogous authorized grievance from Louisiana officers led a federal appeals court docket Saturday to droop the brand new vaccine requirement whereas judges can overview the legislation.

On a nationwide stage, the Institute for Well being Metrics and Analysis (IHME) on the College of Washington is projecting a average surge in Covid circumstances this winter.

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IHME modeler Christopher J.L. Murray mentioned final Thursday that reductions in circumstances, estimated infections, and hospitalizations have basically stopped in the US, and we’re beginning to flip towards one other rise in infections.

Rising Covid-19 numbers right here within the Northern Hemisphere are due, partly, to the truth that winter temperatures are coming, Murray mentioned.

Vaccine-derived immunity towards Covid wanes significantly over the six-month interval after vaccination, he mentioned.

One other issue, Murray added, is that “individuals are a lot much less cautious than final winter, as masks use is far decrease. At the moment, it’s under 40% within the U.S. – barely larger than that in Europe, however a lot decrease than a yr in the past.’’

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