Thursday, April 30, 2020

COVID-19: An Update on the Update

The Columbia County Department of Health released its numbers for the day at 3:00 p.m. Then at 4:15 p.m., they updated the number of positive cases after receiving "late afternoon results." The total number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Columbia County is now 205. The number of positive cases yesterday was 175. That's an increase of 30 in one day.

One might think the higher number of positive cases is simply a consequence of doing more testing, but a reader suggested this was not the case. On March 20, when the Columbia County Department of Health started reporting positive cases and the number of tests administered, there were 3 positive cases out of 118 people tested. That's about 2.5 percent. This afternoon at 3:00 p.m., there were 188 positive cases out of 1,338 people tested. That's 14 percent. Looked at in a different way, between 3:00 p.m. yesterday and 3:00 p.m. today, the results of 59 tests revealed that 13 people had the coronavirus. That is 22 percent.

On March 24, when there were 18 positive cases of coronavirus in Columbia County, Jack Mabb, director of CCDOH, warned, "We haven't reached anywhere near the peak of the COVID-19 cases we expect in the county." More than a month later, with now 205 positive cases, it seems we are still on the ascent. Tomorrow, we find out where those 205 positive cases are located in the county.


  1. Terrible news. What's worrying really worrying are the 20 hospitalizations, with six (!) in ICU. Are these predictable clusters, or more random? A more forensic understanding of the spread is needed at the local level.

    1. Actually, according to CCDOH, there are only 14 people hospitalized, and 6 of those 14 are in the ICU. Comparing Thursday and Friday, one more person in the hospital with COVID-19 was transferred to the ICU. What these numbers are suggesting--to me, at least--is that there is a cluster somewhere--maybe still at Pine Haven, maybe at one of the other nursing homes, maybe someplace else, but we the public don't know where it is until the CCDOH releases its numbers this afternoon.

    2. If Pine Haven is the cluster, the numbers are alarming. It shows the lack of oversight at the facility in the light of the news. As you say, we will see the distribution hopefully today. I notice more road traffic. I'm guessing they're not all essential workers. Evenings, Saturday night and the like. Restaurants, bars, theaters are shut. Socializing, not so? We'll find out if we're getting sloppy soon enough. And, the grocery stores. Another hot spot not following health protocols. I hope the county will specify if grocery store personnel are among the cases. Contact tracing is truly important. Is the county up to the task? Aside from the daily posting, there's not much coming from the county as our neighboring ones. We could use a county executive. We're out of date.