There has been a lot of questions raised about the counts on Coronavirus cases for Butts County and for the State, which we will try to answer here. The biggest single-day increase we have seen was yesterday, when our total case count went from 56 to 80 case. Just this past Friday, we were at 40 cases, which doubled our numbers from Friday to Monday. Here is what do know and don’t know:

1). Just this past Friday, Georgia began requiring nursing homes and personal care homes with 25 patient beds or more to send in detailed reports each weekday and began to issue daily facility reports. Westbury Medical Care in Jackson is considered a large facility and has a reported resident census of 151. Of that number, 48 have been confirmed to have COVID 19. Each resident is considered to be a Butts County resident and adds to our overall count, so of the 80 announced yesterday, 32 are not residents of Westbury.

2). 13 staff members were also indicated on the report as having had or currently have COVID 19. They would not factor into the count as Butts County residents unless they actually live in Butts County. Westbury draws staff from surrounding counties as well and if any of those infected are from another county, they would be part of their count. That information is confidential and is not given to us.

3). Our EMS has responded to an increasing number of emergency calls for patients exhibiting COVID 19 symptoms so we know there has been an uptick in patients that will eventually make it onto the state list.

4). The State does not report recovery rates because they don’t have the resources to follow up on every patient who has it, and who is sent home to recuperate. It is not likely that we will ever have a detailed picture on who has recovered and who has not. What we do know is, based on the numbers of verified COVID cases, the number who have not recovered has consistently remained at about a 4% average mortality rate. Of those that have not survived, most were older and had underlying conditions, but not all. There have been a good number of cases where people were younger and in excellent health and did not survive. It appears to be largely based on how their body responds to and fights the virus, and may also depend on the severity of the case.

5). We also know that on average, 19.5% of those infected will be hospitalized. This average has been between 19% and 20% consistently for weeks now. Fortunately 20% of Georgia’s population did not all need to be hospitalized at the same time. This has largely been due to the social distancing policies and shelter at home measures that counties and the state put into effect to help flatten the curve.

6). It has been asked how many of these numbers include inmates of the prison. Our understanding is that the Department of Corrections handles all prisoners as residents of the prison system and not of the counties they are in so their numbers, if this is correct, do not reflect in the daily counts. However, there has been 1 confirmed case in the Diagnostic Prison (4 tested positive on initial screening but 3 of these were reversed by lab testing). Two employees have also tested positive and, depending on the county they reside in, would be listed by that county.

7). We have been working closely with the State to get needed PPE supplies to Westbury. A letter was sent to the Governor’s office yesterday requesting continued assistance in obtaining PPE’s and the Board Chairman also requested assistance from Representative Susan Holmes. She was extremely helpful in getting a large supply of masks, gloves and gowns to Westbury in the same day from state stockpiles, which should help them considerably.

We hope this information will be helpful to you.