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by Robin Kemp

The latest Clayton County Health District figures show that less than half of Clayton County residents have gotten the first COVID-19 vaccine, nearly one year after it became available locally. Only 43% of Clayton County residents are fully vaccinated–and three out of four Clayton County residents have not yet gotten the booster shot.

Drive-through testing sites around the county have seen long lines ever since the Christmas holidays began. Many people are flying this holiday season, travelers are being required to show a negative COVID-19 test within the past 24 hours before departure. The average positive PCR test rate last week was a whopping 26%.

Vaccination, in combination with proper masking and social-distancing techniques, exponentially improves your odds against catching COVID-19 or spreading it to others. While Georgia law does provide for mandatory vaccination in a public health emergency, even in the case of religious beliefs against vaccination, officials have not enforced that provision of the law.

As of December 26, 2021, Clayton County has had 38,689 cases of COVID-19.

743 Clayton County residents have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

The staggering statistic is the jump in hospitalizations in the past two weeks as compared to the previous two weeks. From November 29 through December 12, 27 people in Clayton County needed to be hospitalized for COVID-19. But in the past two weeks, between December 13 and December 26, that number more than tripled to 121 people needing to be hospitalized for COVID-19. That’s an increase of 348.1% in just two weeks. This is happening at the same time that the far more contagious omicron variant of the virus started spreading–here at home and nationwide–and these numbers cover the period from the Monday after Thanksgiving through the day after Christmas.

In other words, it’s likely that Clayton County is just beginning to feel the impact as some people return from Christmas travel and holiday gatherings, while others are still on the road.

People in their 20s through 40s, as well as children ages 0-9, have borne the brunt of new infections in the past week. (Graph: Clayton County Health District)

This graph shows a marked increase in COVID-19 cases in the past seven days:

While this bar graph shows slight ups and downs each day, the overall trend shows COVID-19 spreading rapidly in Clayton County as of last week (Dec. 20-26, 2021). (Graph: Clayton County Health District

The new numbers by city are nothing to sneeze at: Jonesboro saw the most new cases–582–last week, followed by Riverdale with 295, Morrow with 170, Hampton with 156, Rex with 146, Forest Park with 120, Atlanta in Clayton County with 117, Ellenwood with 114:

Looking at which cities made up which percentages of cases countywide, CCHD reports:

  • Jonesboro 30.7%
  • Riverdale 20.8%
  • Forest Park 9.1%
  • Morrow 8.7%
  • Rex 6.6%
  • Ellenwood 6.2%
  • Hampton 6%
A look at data by zip code shows staggering increases in the past 14 days. You’re more likely to be infected by people close to you, like family members or neighbors in close quarters (think apartments and extended stays), so it makes sense to see how the virus is concentrated by zip code. Check out these percentages:
  • 30349: up 983%
  • 30215: up 900%
  • 30288: up 750%
  • 30238: up 681%
  • 30228: up 678%
  • 30260: up 669%
  • 30294: up 600%
  • 30273: up 500%
  • 30236: up 457%
  • 30296: up 456%
  • 30237: up 400%
  • 30281: up 314%
  • 30297: up 165%
  • 30274: up 156%
  • 30250: up 100% (remember: a 100% increase means the number of cases has doubled. In this zip code, the 14-day case rate went from 1 to 2. What’s important here are the percentages, which give you an idea of how quickly and how widely the virus is spreading.)

As for which zip codes had the most new cases in the past two weeks, here’s the breakdown:

  • Countywide: 2,423 (up from 435)
  • 30236: 390 (up from 54)
  • 30238: 367 (up from 47)
  • 30274: 223 (up from 87)
  • 30260: 223 (up from 29, a much wider spread than in 30274, which also had 223 new cases)
  • 30297: 167 (up from 63)
  • 30296: 178 (up from 32)
  • 30273: 192 (up from 32)
  • 30294: 161 (up from 22)
  • 30349: 195 (up from 18, the county’s biggest percentage increase noted above)
  • 30228: 210 (up from 27)
  • 30288: 34 (up from 4)
  • 30281: 29 (up from 7)
  • 30215: 40 (up from 4)
  • 30250: 2 (up from 1)
  • 30237: 5 (up from 1)
  • 30236: 0 (steady)
  • 30287: 0 (steady)
  • 30328: 0 (down from 1)
  • 30298: 0 (steady)

While Black residents still suffer 59% of cases this week, a significant proportion of new cases, 20%, are listed as “unknown” race. This could be due to the large number of people getting drive-through tests near the airport in Clayton County. Possible reasons might be that patients’ races aren’t always recorded, if there’s a backlog of data to input, or if there’s some other quirk of record-keeping. We’ll follow up with CCHD to clarify this data.

COVID-19 is particularly deadly the older one is, and the chances of dying from a COVID-19 infection roughly double among each group of people in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s or older:

While younger people might be less likely to die of COVID-19, it’s also important for people in all age groups to take extra precautions around mature adults so as not to infect them.

Noted last week: a run on at-home testing kits after government officials urged people to test themselves before Christmas gatherings. A check of Cragislist found several offers to sell tests for inflated prices. Also, some Spanish-speaking residents say a local clinic has charged over $100 each for COVID-19 shots. The Clayton Crescent is investigating and will follow up with what we learn. As a reminder: price-gouging is illegal in Georgia. Attorney General Chris Carr and the Georgia Department of Public Health are going after COVID-19 scammers.

Carr said, “We urge all Georgians to be on the lookout for fraudulent COVID-19-related practices, specifically as it pertains to testing. Unfortunately, scam artists seeking to take advantage of the increase in demand will attempt to con hardworking Georgians into paying for fake tests. Do your research to ensure you are visiting a legitimate operation and receiving results from a valid provider.”

Dr. Kathleen Toomey, who heads GDPH, warns “Testing is a critical component for identifying outbreaks of COVID and to inform mitigation strategies. Misinformation from unapproved COVID tests could result in people not following isolation and quarantine protocols and lead to further transmission of the virus and serious or life-threatening illness.”

Some scams include:

  • People going door-to-door offering COVID-19 tests
  • Someone on the street trying to sell you a COVID-19 test
  • “Mobile” COVID-19 tests from someone driving around town
  • Anyone trying to charge you for an in-person COVID-19 test

The Georgia Department of Public Health’s website is where you can find valid COVID-19 test sites. Visit, then scroll down to “Find a Testing Location.”

You can get free COVID-19 vaccines and testing through the Clayton County Health Department, which is a branch of GDPH. If you have insurance, check with your provider or pharmacist about reimbursements, which often mean you pay nothing out of pocket. Kaiser Permanente members can scheduled free COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, and free flu shots are offered without an appointment to members each season.

If you or someone you know has been scammed by someone charging inflated prices for COVID-19 shots or tests, you can file a complaint online at or call (404) 651-8600. Please also call or text The Clayton Crescent at (404) 547-1171 during normal business hours, or e-mail us at if you file a complaint with the state. We’re more than happy to look into any alleged COVID-19 scam. Pull up your mask and stay safe!

Observado la semana pasada: una ejecución de kits de prueba en el hogar después de que los funcionarios del gobierno instaran a las personas a probarse antes de las reuniones navideñas. Una verificación de Cragislist encontró varias ofertas para vender pruebas a precios inflados.

Además, algunos residentes de habla hispana dicen que una clínica local ha cobrado más de $100 cada uno por las inyecciones de COVID-19. Clayton Crescent está investigando y continuará con lo que sepamos. Como recordatorio: el aumento excesivo de precios es ilegal en Georgia.

El ministro de justicio de Georgia Chris Carr y el Departamento de Salud Pública de Georgia están persiguiendo a los estafadores del COVID-19. Carr dijo: “Instamos a todos los georgianos a estar atentos a las prácticas fraudulentas relacionadas con el COVID-19, específicamente en lo que respecta a las pruebas. Desafortunadamente, los estafadores que buscan aprovechar el aumento de la demanda intentarán engañar a los georgianos trabajadores para que paguen por pruebas falsas. Investigue para asegurarse de que está visitando una operación legítima y recibiendo resultados de un proveedor válido.”

Dra. Kathleen Toomey, directora de GDPH, advierte: “Las pruebas son un componente fundamental para identificar brotes de COVID y para informar las estrategias de mitigación. La información errónea de las pruebas de COVID no aprobadas podría provocar que las personas no sigan los protocolos de aislamiento y cuarentena y provocar una mayor transmisión del virus y graves o enfermedad potencialmente mortal.”

Algunas estafas incluyen:

  • Personas que van de puerta en puerta ofreciendo pruebas de COVID-19
  • Alguien en la calle que intenta venderle una prueba de COVID-19
  • Pruebas de COVID-19 “móviles” de alguien que conduce por la ciudad
  • Una persona que está cobrando por la prueba de COVID-19

El sitio web del Departamento de Salud Pública de Georgia es donde puede encontrar sitios válidos para la prueba COVID-19. Visite, luego desplácese hacia abajo hasta “Find a Testing Location.”

Puede obtener vacunas y pruebas COVID-19 gratuitas a través del Departamento de Salud del Condado de Clayton, que es una rama de GDPH.

Si tiene el seguro, consulte con su proveedor o farmacéutico acerca de los reembolsos, lo que a menudo significa que no paga nada de su bolsillo. Los miembros de Kaiser Permanente pueden programar pruebas y vacunas COVID-19 gratuitas, y se ofrecen vacunas contra la gripe gratuitas sin cita previa a los miembros cada temporada.

Si usted o alguien que conoce ha sido estafado por alguien que cobra precios inflados por las inyecciones o las pruebas de COVID-19, puede presentar una queja en línea al o llamar al (404) 651-8600. También llame o envíe un mensaje de texto a The Clayton Crescent al (404) 547-1171 durante el horario laboral normal, o envíenos un correo electrónico a (en español esta bien) si presenta una queja ante el estado. Estamos más que felices de investigar cualquier presunta estafa de COVID-19. ¡Levántese la máscara y manténgase a salvo!

Para obtener informacción en español sobre COVID-19, envíe el mensaje de texto COVIDGAESP al 77297. Visite y elija “Spanish” en el menú de idioma en la parte superior derecha de su pantalla. Por favor de comparte esta información con su familia y sus amigos y vecinos hispanohablantes, y diles que lo viste en El Clayton Crescent, (Por favor, perdóname mi español malo con ayuda a de Google Traducción. Tengo accesos a una intérprete a veces. Escribame con correciones! — La editora)

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