by Robin Kemp

Clayton County is on fire with COVID-19.

The latest figures from the Clayton County Health District and Georgia Department of Public Health show widespread cases throughout the county, with 3,154 new positive cases as of Sunday, January 2. That brings the total number of cases for Clayton County to 42,400 since the pandemic began. Clayton County has lost 749 people to COVID-19.

Some sobering figures:

  • Clayton County accounts for 2.9% of COVID-19 cases in Georgia.
  • 3.6% of Clayton County residents with COVID-19 last week had to be hospitalized.
  • Over the past 7 days, on average, the 41% of PCR test results came back positive for COVID-19.
  • Fewer than half of Clayton County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “Herd immunity” requires closer to a population that is 90% fully vaccinated. Only 44% of Clayton County residents are fully vaccinated. (Of that group, 28% have gotten the booster shot.) However, another 49% have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, which means only 7% are unvaccinated. (Vaccination may not keep you from getting infected, but it greatly reduces your chances of dying if you do get infected later. It takes about two weeks for a single dose to reach its full effectiveness inside your body.)

Here’s where each of the 3,154 people who got sick this past week live: 922 in Jonesboro, 461 in Riverdale, 332 in Rex, 280 in Morrow, 278 in Hampton, 253 in Ellenwood, 239 in Forest Park, 142 in Atlanta in Clayton County, 66 in College Park in Clayton County, 57 in Stockbridge in Clayton County, 49 in Conley in Clayton County, 45 in Fayetteville in Clayton County, 17 people’s cities were unknown, 11 in Lake City, and 2 in Lovejoy.

Being vaccinated does not mean you can’t catch and spread COVID-19. It means you are extremely likely to avoid serious long-term effects or death from COVID-19. Health experts stress the importance of wearing masks to keep from spreading (or breathing in) droplets containing the virus. Because the omicron variant is so much easier to spread, health experts strongly advise people to buy and wear KN-95 (China) or N-95 (U.S.) masks instead of cloth masks. If that’s not possible, they say, wear a surgical mask underneath a cloth mask and make sure the masks fit closely over your mouth and nose.

Source: Clayton County Health District

In the past 14 days, Clayton County saw COVID-19 hospitalizations nearly double, from 46 in the previous two weeks to 91. That’s a 97.8% increase in the number of people who have had to go to the hospital for COVID-19.

The 30349 zip code saw more three times as many people with COVID-19 in the past two weeks, up 214% from the previous two-week period. Other hotspots include 30260 (up 167%), 30238 (up 163%), 30296 (up 151%), 30296 (up 151%), 30273 (up 131%), 30236 (up 127%), 30228 (up 124%), and 30237 (up 100%). Countywide, the number of cases has doubled in the past two weeks, up 111%. Infections were down significantly in 30250 (-50%, from 2 people to 1) and 30288 (-19%, from 21 people to 17).

Source: Clayton County Health District

As for breakthrough cases, which are cases where vaccinated people become infected with COVID-19, last week’s numbers indicate that vaccination–even with just one dose–almost guarantees survival. Two doses improves a patient’s chances of not getting infected and not being hospitalized. A booster shot improves a patient’s odds even more:

  • Of the 3,154 people in Clayton County who developed COVID-19, only 115 had to go to the hospital. Out of those 115, 5 people died.
  • Of the 1,482 unvaccinated people who caught COVID-19, 68 had to be hospitalized and 5 died.
  • Of the 1,298 partially vaccinated people who caught COVID-19, 34 had to be hospitalized and none died.
  • Of the 200 fully vaccinated people who caught COVID-19, 12 had to be hospitalized and none died.
  • Of the 174 fully vaccinated people who had a booster shot and caught COVID-19, 1 had to be hospitalized and none died.

100% of the people who died of COVID-19 were unvaccinated.

0% of the vaccinated people died, whether they were hospitalized or not.

Source: Clayton County Health District

You can learn more about how vaccines work at publichealth.org.

If you have questions or concerns about whether you should get the COVID-19 vaccine, or need help scheduling a COVID-19 test or vaccination, call the Clayton County Health District at (678) 479-2223, visit www.claytoncountypublichealth.org, or consult your health care provider.

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