Franklin County COVID-19 cases are again rising

By Linda Trest, Staff Writer
Posted 12/23/20

Last week saw a sharp drop in COVID-19 cases across the county. This week they are creeping upwards again with 391 new cases. That compares to 363 new cases last week and 494 cases the week before. …

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Franklin County COVID-19 cases are again rising

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Last week saw a sharp drop in COVID-19 cases across the county. This week they are creeping upwards again with 391 new cases. That compares to 363 new cases last week and 494 cases the week before.

Unfortunately, there were 14 deaths reported last week bringing the total to 108. Since there is a serious lag between the date of death and the reporting of death, it is not known when the deaths actually occurred. None of the 14 reported deaths were from the Gerald area.

Hospitalizations have increased from 21 last week, to 27 currently.

Long-term care facility cases dropped from 56 to 27 over the last seven days.

Nine new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the Gerald area last week. Leslie also saw nine new cases while Beaufort had only four. Two new cases from Rosebud showed up in the Franklin County statistics this week. They will probably be removed at some future point.

The mask mandate, issued by Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker went into effect Nov. 19. The mandate may be responsible for the decrease in new cases last week and the slowdown of the surge represented in this week’s numbers.

The mandate expired Sunday at noon. It was not renewed by Brinker. A phone call to Brinker about the mandate was not returned. 

Matthew Holloway gives daily updates on statewide statistics on his Facebook page. His data is developed through personal contact with health departments across the state.

After tracking these numbers for almost a year, many feel that Holloway has a good feel for what is happening.

Yesterday, Holloway claimed the decline in cases is due in part to the increase of antigen (rapid) testing being used. Positive results from these antigen tests are not being counted on the state’s dashboard.

According to Holloway, these rapid tests account for 25 percent of all tests being administered.

Officials have already given notice that COVID-19 updates will be sporadic over the upcoming holidays. Therefore, for the next few weeks the statistics will be skewed.

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