by Robin Kemp

The latest figures from the Clayton County Health District and Georgia Department of Public Health show Clayton County in the grips of COVID-19, with 2,287 new positive tests for the week ending January 16, 2022. Of those, 83 people were hospitalized. Seven unvaccinated people died. While those seven people represent 11.8% of unvaccinated people hospitalized last week, they also represent 100% of all COVID-19 patients who died.

Since the pandemic began, 760 Clayton County residents have died of COVID-19. To give you a sense of scale, that’s about the same number of people as:

  • a quarter of the population of Lake City
  • nearly every student in North Clayton Middle School
  • nearly everyone who voted in the 2021 Forest Park mayoral runoff

Meanwhile, Clayton County residents have almost reached the 50% vaccination rate. As of Sunday:

  • 49% (140,005) of Clayton County residents have gotten at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine
  • 44% (124,892) have been fully vaccinated
  • 32% (40,400) fully-vaccinated residents have gotten a booster shot

For community immunity, which means enough healthy people are vaccinated to protect those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons (like a weak immune system), medical experts say 70% to 90% of Clayton County residents would need to be vaccinated.

A smaller proportion of Hispanic residents (36.9%) have had at least one shot, compared to all other ethnic groups (47.8%). Last week’s free COVID-19 at-home test kit distribution included directions in Spanish as well as English.

Jonesboro (733), Riverdale (305), Forest Park (279), Morrow (224), and Hampton (214) had the highest rates of infection last week. On average, 31.2% of PCR test results in Clayton County over the past 7 days came back positive. Of those, 3.6% were hospitalized.

Only 4.2% of all fully vaccinated and boostered residents tested positive last week and two-tenths of one percent were hospitalized. None of those who had had even one vaccination died.

While Clayton County represented 3% of COVID-19 cases statewide, the overall trend is down for all age groups.

If you have questions or concerns about whether COVID-19 vaccination is right for you and your loved ones, contact your primary care physician or the Clayton County Health District at (678) 610-7199 or visit, where you also can get information on testing and vaccination locations.


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