To the Editor: I have been, and will continue, calculating a weekly estimate of the percentage of people in Athens currently infected with the Coronavirus. This will give both an index of the current risk and the ability to track risk over time during what promises to be the most difficult period of the pandemic.
This will be based on 1) the seven day average of estimated active cases based on confirmed cases for Henderson County, 2) the proportion of total Henderson County cases accounted for by total Athens cases, and 3) estimates, based on CDC projections, that actual cases range from five to 10 times the number of confirmed cases. While no one knows for sure, I feel reasonably confident that the actual risk will be somewhere within the identified range.
On Dec. 2, the range was 10-20%, or 1 in 10 to 1 in 5.
On Dec. 9, the range was 12.5-25%, or 1 in 8 to 1 in 4
On Dec. 16, the range was 12.4- 24.12, or 1 in 8.1 to 1 in 4.15 (pro-rated-6 days)
For the week Dec. 5 through Dec. 11, the seven county total and Smith, Henderson, Van Zandt, Rains, and Wood Counties all set new records for weekly COVID cases. For those who noticed a sudden and dramatic increase in all the figures on the NET webpage, note that they now include all positive cases rather than separating confirmed from probable cases. Confirmed and Probable are still listed separately for the daily Estimated Active Cases.