The COVID-19 pandemic is slowly becoming less threatening and the return to life before COVID-19 seems more feasible as fewer tests are being administered, fewer cases are being reported, and fewer hospital beds are being used in Chatham County and across the country.
Like most of the country, Chatham county has moderate transmission of the virus, even though it falls considerably behind in vaccinating its population with vaccination rates that are at least 10 percentage points lower than the national average in all categories.
Even with only a third of the population vaccinated, the COVID-19 caseload trended downward from the middle of May to the last week in June. While the start of July saw a spike in cases and an even larger increase in hospitalizations.
See the gallery below for the full breakdown of statistics on testing, cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
The week of May 7, Chatham county tested 1227 individuals, a 14 percent decrease from the week before.
The county reported 115 cases, a 35 percent decrease from the previous week. Nine of those cases resulted in hospitalization, which was a 55 percent decrease from the previous week.
Two weeks later, the caseload only dropped by one percent from the previous week to 90 cases between May 15, and May 21. 12 of those cases resulted in hospitalization, a 20 percent decrease from the week before.
In those seven days, Chatham county administered 1035 COVID-19 tests in that week, a 19 percent decrease from the week before.
The week of Jun. 23, the county tested 122 individuals for COVID-19, a 23 percent decrease from the week before. The case rate dropped 57 percent when the county only reported 35 cases. The rate of hospitalization did not change from the week before. Two cases required hospitalization.
Unfortunately, in the seven days leading up to the start of July, the COVID-19 caseload increased by 90% and totaled 99 cases out of 741 individuals who were tested.
The death rate stayed below 10 cases as it has since mid-May. The hospitalization rate increased by 40%.
However, the vaccination rate for the overall population has increased from 19% to 35% from Jun. 26, 2021 to Jul. 4, 2021. Additionally, the vaccination rates for each of the age groups increased by more than 10% between Jun. 26, 2021 and Jul. 4, 2021.
During the seven days leading up to Jul. 9, Chatham county experienced another rise in cases.
The number of cases increased 32% to 120 cases that week. The number of tests decreased 29% and a total of 556 tests were administered. 21 cases of COVID-19 required hospitalization, a 250% increase from the week before.
Between Jul. 4, and Jul 12, the percent of the overall population that is fully vaccinated increased by less than one percent.
After two months of tracking the data, the negative correlation between vaccination rate and number of cases does not appear to be as strong or as unaffected by other factors as it first seemed.
To keep track of Chatham county’s transmission and vaccination rates, visit the CDC COVID Data Tracker and click on Chatham county for a complete real-time breakdown of the county’s statistics.