During previously used measurements, much of Georgia would be listed as a moderate risk of COVID transmission. Now the risk of COVID in most of Georgia is stated as low.
ATLANTA – A recent change in how Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracks the COVID-19 pandemic being criticized by a top doctor in Atlanta.
The CEO of the COVID-19 Task Force in Piedmont, Dr. Jayne Morgan, accused the CDC on Twitter of shifting the target posts on how it tracks the risk of COVID-19 in communities on Sunday.
In the past, many tracked the risk of the virus by monitoring CDC Community Transmission Assessments of low, moderate, significant, or high on a color-coded card in blue, yellow, orange, and red.
Under this system of Community transmission measurements, a large part of Georgia would be considered to have moderate transmission or even high in a few counties.
Recently, the CDC began to emphasize a new one set of metrics labeled as community levels.
With the new measurements, almost all of Georgia is considered low risk. Even a large part of the United States is at green – or low risk, a change from that of yellow, orange and red.
“As we have more and more people and more and more immunity in the population, we wanted to make sure we focused on the serious illness because we want to prevent serious illness, we want to prevent hospitalizations,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said recently during a late February press briefing where she was asked about the change. “We want to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed.”
The CDC found that societal levels were better predictors of deaths and ICU patients than community transmission data.
According to the CDC, it estimates the societal transfer is high when there are more than 100 new COVID-19 cases per year. 100,000 people over seven days, or test positivity rates are over 10 percent.
“What the CDC has done is to merge all four categories, low, medium, significant and high, and created this new category of low, which is actually higher than our highest caseload in the previous definition,” said Dr. Morgan.
The Community level is high if there are 200 new cases per year. 100,000 people, ten new COVID admissions per 100,000 people or 10-plus percent of hospital beds are filled with COVID patients.
Morgan said the majority of the country would still be in the high-risk zone during previous measurements, not low. Parts of Georgia would be in the moderate range.
“It affects the decisions we have to make about our health and the health around us,” Morgan said. “Interestingly, the CDC still has both cards on their website.”
The CDC now shows the community transfer card and data for “use of health facilities only.”