Baldwin's COVID infection rates remain relatively low leading up to Christmas
Trends often take longer to reach Baldwin County.
When there's a viral pandemic, that actually can be a good thing. In the days leading up to Christmas, Baldwin County's COVID-19 infection rates remained relatively low, despite the highly-infectious Omicron strain becoming the virus' dominant variant, nationally.
Baldwin County began the week in the "Minimal" category, with an average of 47 cases per 100,000 people during the past two weeks. This marked the first time since way back in June that Baldwin was placed in the "Minimal" category in the North Central Health District's bi-monthly Operations Summary. By Wednesday, meanwhile, the average was up to 61 cases in Baldwin County and bumped up to "Moderate" spread.
Minimal is defined as less than 51 cases per 100,000 residents, Moderate is “51-100 cases per 100,000 residents," while substantial is greater than 100.
The data for Baldwin County could be somewhat skewed by the new-found popularity of home COVID tests. Those results, whether positive or negative, are not included in the state of Georgia's database, according to Michael Hokanson, a spokesperson with DPH. Only PCR lab tests are entered into the database. Then again, however, many people who test positive on a home COVID test often venture out to receive a PCR test for confirmation. In other words, home testing kits may not skew the data to any great extent, or at least that's to be determined.