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The weekly COVID-19 report from North Central Health District (NCHD)  released on Sept. 14 still rates Monroe County as “Substantial Spread,” but shows the last 14-day rate as 185/100,000 people down from 251/100,000 in the previous 14-day reporting period. Monroe County had a 0 percent increase in testing at the Health Department from Sept. 7-13 and a 26 percent decrease in newly confirmed cases.

To arrive at the 185/100,000 number, NCHD compared 51 new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days to Monroe County’s 27,520 population. There were 69 new cases in the preceding reporting period to arrive at the 251/100,000 number.

NCHD covers 13 Georgia counties, including Monroe. All 13 counties are still rated substantial spread. The district reports a total of 465 deaths and 1,853 COVID-19 hospitalizations. Monroe County reports a total of 45 deaths and 79 hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

Monroe County 911 director Tim Self said the daily updates he gets from Georgia Emergency Management Agency indicate Monroe County is trending downward too. He said Monroe County is now averaging about three cases per day instead of 6-10 per day, and the information he has received indicates cases are down at local nursing homes as well as in the community at large.

“We’re hoping that will continue,” said Self. “That’s really good news.”

Meanwhile, GPSTC director Chris Wigginton said the virus village at his facility continues to have zero patients. In fact the vacancies have allowed them to move the RVs while they put a new cover on the concrete pad.

In the district the majority of new cases are among persons 18-24 years old. However in Monroe County the most new cases (29 percent) are among people 50-64 years old, followed by 22 percent of the cases among 65-79 year olds and 12 percent among 18-24 year olds. Monroe County reported no new cases for those 10 and under.

Nine of Monroe County’s new cases (18 percent) were outbreak related. Since March 141 of Monroe County’s 715 cases have been linked to an outbreak. 

Georgia Department of Community Health, which reports information on nursing homes with more than 25 residents, shows the following for Monroe County’s three nursing homes as of Sept. 14:

Bolingreen has had 47 residents and 16 staff test positive for COVID-19. It has tested 94 residents and has had 14 deaths and 24 recovered. It currently has 64 residents.

PruittHealth Forsyth has had 57 residents and 22 staff test positive for COVID-19. It has tested 79 residents and has had nine deaths and 48 recovered. It currently has 46 residents.

PruittHeath Monroe has had 21 residents and five staff test positive for COVID-19. It has tested 67 residents and has had five deaths and 17 recovered. It currently has 63 residents.