Health director warns Cobb’s low COVID-19 case numbers may be misleading

03/03/2021 —Marietta, Georgia — Cobb and Douglass County Public Health Department Director Dr. Janet Memark makes remarks after touring a COVID-19 vaccine drive thru site with Governor Brian Kemp and Georgia Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey at Jim Miller Park in Marietta, Wednesday, February 3, 2021. Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday that 1 million Georgians have now received a COVID-19 vaccine shot, which he called “an encouraging milestone.” But he said the state can’t ramp up for mass vaccinations because it doesn’t have enough vaccine. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

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03/03/2021 —Marietta, Georgia — Cobb and Douglass County Public Health Department Director Dr. Janet Memark makes remarks after touring a COVID-19 vaccine drive thru site with Governor Brian Kemp and Georgia Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey at Jim Miller Park in Marietta, Wednesday, February 3, 2021. Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday that 1 million Georgians have now received a COVID-19 vaccine shot, which he called “an encouraging milestone.” But he said the state can’t ramp up for mass vaccinations because it doesn’t have enough vaccine. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

The state health director for Cobb says that the number new COVID-19 cases for the two weeks that ended April 12 has fallen to a point that the county hasn’t seen in months, but she’s not sure if the figure paints an accurate picture because of the spring break holiday.

Dr. Janet Memark, the physician who heads the Cobb & Douglas Public Health Department, told Cobb commissioners on Tuesday that the coronavirus case rate — the number of new cases per 100,000 residents — has fallen to 225 over that time period.

According to a chart Memark presented to commissioners, the rate hasn’t been that low since last year.

But Memark cautioned that the decline may be attributable to residents leaving town for spring break.

“I’m a little bit nervous that this is a little bit falsely low at this point,” Memark said.

Memark also noted that the number of new cases remains above 100 per 100,000 residents, a rate of transmission that health officials consider to be high.