7 Georgia counties in top 20 Delta variant “danger zones” in US

ATLANTA — Seven Georgia counties are among the top 20 counties in the “danger zone” for the Delta variant, according to a national health nonprofit.

Surgo Ventures analyzed data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention from July on the Delta variant, which now makes up 83% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

The analysis found that Charlton County, Georgia, was the most hard-hit county in the country in terms of new COVID-19 cases.

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Charlton County is the southernmost county in Georgia. Only 14.5% of the population is vaccinated. The county has an average of 62 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 as of last week.

Lanier, Telfair, Heard, Jeff Davis, Treutlen and Bacon counties also made the list.


Every county in the “danger zone” is in south Georgia, aside from Heard County, which is in west Georgia and in the Channel 2 Action News viewing area.

The 7 day-average for new cases in Georgia on Monday was 1,400. That’s up from a 7-day average of 242 new cases exactly one month ago and nearly double the new cases last week. The last time case numbers were this high was in early March, before the vaccine was available to many Georgians.

The other states with counties that made the “danger zone” list are in Texas, Missouri, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas and South Dakota.

The counties are ranked based on lowest vaccination rate.

“We believe these 20 counties are Delta danger zones, which means they represent the strongest convergence of COVID-19 vulnerability, underlying community barriers to vaccine uptake, and low vaccination rates of all counties in the United States at this point in time,” said Dr. Sema Sgaier, Co-Founder and CEO of Surgo Ventures and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “We are calling on public health officials and local leaders in these counties to take immediate action,

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Top 20 counties in the Delta “danger zone:”

COUNTY: % vaccinated average daily cases per 100,000

  1. Charlton, GA 14.5% 62
  2. Newton, TX 17.3% 51
  3. Pemiscot, MO 17.8% 8
  4. McDonald, MO 18.4% 28
  5. Grundy, TN 18.4% 7
  6. Ziebach, SD 18.8% 5
  7. Hempstead, AR 19.1% 10
  8. Ripley, MO 19.5% 27
  9. Lanier, GA 19.8% 7
  10. Motley, TX 20% 0
  11. Baker, FL 20.1% 75
  12. Telfair, GA 20.2% 11
  13. Heard, GA 20.5% 13
  14. Holmes, FL 20.8% 11
  15. Washington, FL 21.3% 26
  16. Carter, MO 21.4% 77
  17. Jeff Davis, GA 21.4% 9
  18. Texas, MO 21.5% 37
  19. Treutlen, GA 21.6% 29
  20. Bacon, GA 21.7% 26

Sources for attribution: Surgo Ventures, CDC, and Covid Act Now as of July 19, 2021.

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