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COVID-19 numbers remaining consistent

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The COVID-19 pandemic numbers continue to remain fairly consistent in Putnam County as in recent weeks, which could point to a direction of stability.

There was an uptick in the Putnam County Charter School System as three students tested positive, and as a result, 60 students and some staff were sent home for 14-day quarantine periods as directed by the Georgia Department of Public Health. If symptoms appear in those quarantined, the isolation period would increase proportionally.

According to the North Central Health District, Putnam County has tested 1,623 patients since the beginning of the pandemic with an 8 percent positivity rate since March 18. Over the last 21 days, the positivity rate in testing has been reported as 13 percent.

The Georgia Department of Public Health is reporting 676 confirmed cases including 70 hospitalizations and 23 deaths associated with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Of all the cases in the NCHD that encompasses 13 counties, 67 percent have been discharged from hospitals while 7 percent are healthcare workers. Large group gatherings continue to be a problem area in the fight against COVID-19 with 48 percent of deaths in the district have been directly linked to large groups while 11 percent of all cases are connected to large groups.

In recent weeks, there has been some disconnect on the accuracy of reporting from the NCHD, but according to officials of the NCHD, the problem has been addressed and fixed.

“We did have some significant data cleaning over the past week. We had approximately 300 cases misclassified as Presumptive (Antigen Positive) that were serologies (antibody positive, not counted in our case counts). Some of them were old cases that had a confirmatory lab and a new serology test and some were just newly reported old serology tests,” wrote Amber Erickson, the NCHD director of epidemiology, community assessment and research initiatives in a statement on the weekly operational report. “We have cleaned these out and classified them in the system correctly. The state office has also updated the system over the weekend so that this hopefully does not happen again.

“Thank you all for your understanding, as 7 months into this response we are still spending a good bit of time ensuring that the data that we provide to you all is as accurate as possible,” Erickson said.