by Robin Kemp

The latest COVID-19 figures from the Clayton County Health District and Georgia Department of Public Health show 881 people tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 752 of them were unvaccinated. 31 were partially vaccinated. 98 were fully vaccinated. There was a jump of nearly 70 percent in people who had to be hospitalized compared to the previous week. 40 people were hospitalized. Of those, 38 were unvaccinated, one was partially vaccinated, and one was fully vaccinated. 14 people died–13 of them were unvaccinated and one was fully vaccinated.

But the good news is that 218,090 vaccines have been administered, with 101,973 Clayton County residents or 36% now fully vaccinated and 119,578 or 42% with at least one dose. Only one of those fully-vaccinated people died.

Nearly one in three Clayton County residents who tested positive for COVID-19 this week live in Jonesboro, and more than one in five live in Riverdale.

Jonesboro saw 249 new cases from August 30 to September 5, while Riverdale had 196 residents come down with COVID-19 during that time. Forest Park had 89 new cases, Morrow had 67, Ellenwood had 62, Hampton had 54, Rex had 49, Atlanta in Clayton County had 33, College Park had 22, Stockbridge in Clayton County had 21, Conley in Clayton County had 20, Fayetteville had 14, 4 people’s hometowns were unknown, and Lake City had one new case.

A total of 551 Clayton County residents, or 1.8%, are known to have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. To date, here are the deaths in Clayton County by age group:

While the disease has claimed more seniors than any other group, children and young people are not immune. At least one child between the ages of 0 and nine has died of COVID-19 in Clayton County, as well as a child between 10 and 19 years old. Seven people in their twenties, 21 in their thirties, 36 in their forties, and 77 in their fifties also have died of COVID-19 in Clayton County since the pandemic began.

Here’s a breakdown of the total number of COVID-19 cases by age group in Clayton County since the beginning of the pandemic:

Age GroupCount% of Total Cases

A Georgia DPH graph that breaks down COVID-19 cases by age group shows a slight dip from the previous week, with school-age children and teens from 10 to 19 suffering the most infections, with adults ages 30 to 39 and young adults ages 20 to 29 right behind them:

The number of cases among people in their 40s and young children ages 0 to 9 also dropped slightly. The number of cases among people in their 50s has remained fairly steady over the past three weeks, while the number of cases among people in their 60s and 70s also dropped, but not as much as in other age groups.

More than half the people in Clayton County who have tested positive for COVID-19–55%–are Black. 68,502 Black residents are the smallest proportion by race–35.5%–of people with at least one COVID-19 vaccination, while the county’s 488 American Indian or Alaska natives represent the largest proportion by race–85.5%–of members vaccinated. The categories “Other” (16,669) at 72.4% and “Asian” (9,449) at 64.2% have the next-highest proportions of vaccination by race, while “White” (19,930) is next-to-last at 41.9%. 4,463 people’s race was listed as “Unknown.”

In terms of ethnicity, of the 92,625 people listed as “Non-Hispanic,” 38.3% had had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while those 11,043 listed as “Hispanic” accounted for 30.1% of single doses. Another 15,833, or 31.6%, were listed as “Unknown” ethnicity.

The most shots by age group have gone to people 55 and older, while the least have gone to children ages 10 through 14. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone from age 12 up get the COVID-19 vaccine. The two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech is cleared for children ages 12 and older. Because they can still catch, spread, and get sick from the COVID-19 virus, the CDC says, children from ages 2 to 12 “should wear a mask in public spaces and around people they don’t live with.”

People with certain medical conditions or weakened immune systems may still get COVID-19 even if they are vaccinated. The CDC says the best way for family members and others in close quarters, like caregivers or roommates, to protect people at greater risk is to wear masks inside and to get vaccinated.

If you have questions about what is right for your particular health, consult with your primary care physician. If you don’t have a doctor, you can contact the Clayton County Health Department with any question about COVID-19, whether you should get the vaccine, when to wear a mask, or how these decisions affect your individual situation.

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