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State cuts COVID reports to weekly

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pike County Journal Reporter has reported regular updates from the Georgia Department of Public Health. DPH recently announced they are transitioning from daily to weekly COVID-19 data reporting with case counts and vaccination updates  published on the DPH website every Wednesday. The last daily updates to the Daily Status Report and the vaccine dashboard was on April 15. There were only three cases over the past two weeks and two additional deaths according to the site on Friday. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been a total of 72 deaths from COVID, 2,746 confirmed cases, 24 probable deaths and 185 hospitalizations for Pike residents. 

“Weekly intervals provide a more complete picture than day to day changes or data fluctuations when determining areas of concern or COVID’s trajectory in the state. Given the number of at-home COVID tests that do not get reported, there is a now a greater focus on other indicators such as hospital admissions, hospital occupancy, and overall vaccination rates when assessing the community impact of COVID-19,” said Catherine Woodall of DPH District 4 which includes Pike County. 

Additional data that are reported weekly (e.g., County Indicator Report, Breakthrough Case Report, School-Aged Surveillance Report, etc.) will continue to be published on their current publication days. 

“We believe weekly COVID reporting will continue to support a sustainable response in Georgia while informing decision-making around transmission and infection rates,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “DPH epidemiologists and the data team have worked tirelessly for more than two years to provide this information to the public. We are extremely grateful for their work and dedication.”

Additionally, per new CDC guidance, only positive and negative PCR test results and positive antigen tests are required to be reported. Facilities no longer need to report negative results from antigen or rapid tests, and they no longer need to report any positive or negative results for antibody tests. Home tests also are not reportable.

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