Return of mask mandates make headlines. Do COVID numbers justify it?
According to the latest CDC data in Fulton County, Georgia, where the college is located, there were 3.2 hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the week ending Aug. 12. Health officials have focused on hospitalizations, where there is an 18% increase from the week prior.
In mid-June of 2023, hospitalizations in the county were at a near all-time low of .5 per 100,000 people. Hospitalizations have risen 540% in two months.
While the percentage comparisons indicate a massive jump, the actual number of hospitalizations paints a different picture. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Georgia health officials deem the risk as low.
“While the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is seeing an uptick in new COVID cases and hospitalizations related to COVID, the numbers remain relatively low, compared to the state’s peak in January 2022 or even summer COVID increases in previous years,” the Georgia Health Department said.
The same goes for Los Angeles County, where Lionsgate made headlines for new COVID-19 restrictions, including mandatory mask-wearing and quarantines after some of its employees tested positive. According to the most recent CDC data, there were 4.6 hospitalizations per 100,000 people in Los Angeles County.
For reference, during the height of the pandemic in 2021, there were 57.1 hospitalizations per 100,000 people. There were 43 hospitalizations per 100,000 at 2022’s peak.
While hospitalizations have risen 27% week over week, that’s in part because last week’s hospitalizations were at just 3.6 hospitalizations per 100,000 peoples. Los Angeles County health officials have deemed COVID-19 to be a low risk to the community.
According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, the majority of the country has a level of COVID-19 hospitalizations at less than 10 per 100,000 people. Some counties have hospitalization rates between 10 and 19.9 admissions per 100,000 residents.
It isn’t until a county has hospitalization rates at 20 or more per 100,000 that the CDC recommends everyone to wear a mask. No county in the country is currently seeing that high a hospitalization rate.
AN ATLANTA COLLEGE IS ENFORCING A MASK MANDATE THOUGH THERE HAVE BEEN ZERO CONFIRMED CASES ON ITS CAMPUS –
BUSINESSES AND HOSPITALS ARE ALSO REINSTATING COVID RESTRICTIONS IN CALIFORNIA –
EVEN WHEN COVID-19 DATA – DOESN’T SUPPORT THE MOVE –
ACCORDING TO THE CDC’S OWN METRICS COMPARING A PERSON’S RISK LEVEL TO HOSPITALIZATION RATES.
DESPITE THIS – HEADLINES ONLINE READ
“IT MAY BE TIME TO BREAK OUT THE MASKS AGAINST COVID.”
“NEW COVID WAVE HAS BEGUN AND MASKS SHOULD BE WORN AGAIN.”
“AMERICANS AT HIGH RISK **ADVISED TO WEAR MASKS.”
THERE ARE WHISPERS OF MASKS MAKING A COMEBACK.
CELEBRITIES – LIKE JAMIE LEE CURTIS – POST PHOTOS TO INSTAGRAM MASKED UP AND URGING FOLLOWERS TO DO THE SAME.
A COMMON QUESTION DURING THE PANDEMIC WHEN REFERRING TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS AND MANDATES – “WHERE IS THE DATA?”
WE HAVE IT.
LET’S FIRST START IN ATLANTA WHERE MORRIS BROWN COLLEGE IS NOW REQUIRING STUDENTS TO MASK UP, SOCIAL DISTANCE, AND NO PARTIES –
CITING REPORTS OF POSITIVE CASES AMONG STUDENTS.
ALTHOUGH THE PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE HAS CONFIRMED THERE AREN’T ANY ACTIVE COVID CASES ON CAMPUS.
ACCORDING TO THE LATEST CDC DATA IN FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA —
WHERE THE COLLEGE IS LOCATED — THERE WERE 3.2 HOSPITALIZATIONS PER 100 THOUSAND PEOPLE IN THE WEEK ENDING AUGUST 12TH.
RIGHT NOW – THE CONCERN IS ON “THE UPTICK IN HOSPITALIZATIONS.”
BECAUSE THAT IS AN 18 PERCENT INCREASE FROM THE WEEK PRIOR.
MID-JUNE IN FULTON, COUNTY –
HOSPITALIZATIONS WERE AT A NEAR ALL-TIME LOW OF .5 PER 100 THOUSAND.
THAT IS A 540 PERCENT INCREASE IN TWO MONTHS.
BUT WHILE THE PERCENTAGE COMPARISONS ARE BIG NUMBERS –
THE ACTUAL NUMBER OF HOSPITALIZATIONS IS NOT.
THAT’S NOT OUR CONCLUSION –
THAT’S FROM THE C-D-C AND GEORGIA HEALTH OFFICIALS.
DEEMING THE RISK AS – NOT MEDIUM OR HIGH — BUT **LOW.
SAME GOES FOR LOS ANGELES COUNTY –
WHERE HOLLYWOOD STUDIO LIONSGATE JUST ENACTED NEW COVID RESTRICTIONS – INCLUDING MANDATORY MASK-WEARING AND QUARANTINES — AFTER SOME OF ITS EMPLOYEES TESTED POSITIVE.
ACCORDING TO MOST RECENT CDC DATA – IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY –
THERE WERE 4.6 HOSPITALIZATIONS PER 100 THOUSAND PEOPLE.
FOR REFERENCE –
IN THE HEIGHT OF THE PANDEMIC DURING 2021 –
THERE WERE 57.1 HOSPITALIZATIONS PER 100 THOUSAND PEOPLE.
AND 43 PER 100 THOUSAND AT 2022’S PEAK.
WHILE HOSPITALIZATIONS TODAY ARE UP 27 PERCENT WEEK OVER WEEK –
THAT’S BECAUSE LAST WEEK HOSPITALIZATIONS WERE AT 3.6 PER 100 HUNDRED THOUSAND.
AGAIN – LA COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIALS DEEM THIS AS LOW RISK TO THE COMMUNITY.
TAKE A LOOK AT THIS MAP ON THE CDC’S COVID DATA TRACKER WEBSITE.
THE COLOR GREEN INDICATES LOW RISK.
WHICH IS WHAT THE LARGE MAJORITY OF THE COUNTRY IS IN.
THE YELLOW SPOTS OVER THE MAP – ARE COUNTIES WITH HOSPITALIZATION RATES BETWEEN 10 AND 19 ADMISSIONS PER 100,000 RESIDENTS.
IT ISN’T UNTIL A COUNTY HITS ORANGE – WITH HOSPITALIZATION RATES AT 20 OR MORE PER 100,000 – THAT THE CDC RECOMMENDS TO WEAR A MASK.
BUT THERE ISN’T ONE COUNTY IN THE COUNTRY SEEING A “HIGH” HOSPITALIZATION RATE.
BUT WITH NEW VARIANTS AND A FALL SEASON UPON US WITH KIDS BACK IN SCHOOL –
THESE NUMBERS ARE LIKELY TO CHANGE.
AND CURRENTLY – THEY ARE INCREASING.
BUT SINCE WE’RE COMING OFF OF AN ALL-TIME LOW IN CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS –
IT’S UNKNOWN WHETHER IT WILL DEVELOP INTO A WAVE.