The current COVID-19 pandemic appears to be just entering the psyches of Fannin/Union County
residents, despite the panic that is sweeping the country. While panic is never a strategy, it is important
people understand the severity of this illness. I’ve spent the last decade as Chief Medical Officer
managing population health data and statistics for a Fortune 50 company and want to put the risk in
perspective for Fannin and Union county. Assuming the definitions below, Fannin County can expect
2,360 infected individuals (based on an adult population of 23,601) with 141 people requiring critical
care (think hospitalization) and 29 deaths. Union surpasses Fannin with 209 critically ill people and 42
deaths even though they have a slightly smaller population but have more elderly and individuals with
high-risk individuals with chronic disease.
Understanding the significance of these statistics should convince anyone that the threat is real and
social distance, hand washing, staying home, school closings and any activity involving large groups of
people should be followed.
Total Population: Represents the total number of people age 18+ included in the analysis.
Infection %: The percent of the total population assumed to be diagnosed with COVID-19. Using
the Center for Disease Control’s estimate for influenza as a proxy, the default value is set at
10%. Users can simulate different scenarios.
Critical Case Volume: The number of infected patients expected to become critical, meaning the
patient will require an ICU level of care and/or ventilator. Based on research published in the
New England Journal of Medicine, the current national average critical case rate is projected to
be 6.1% of total infections. However, local and regional critical case rates will vary based on
multiple factors; this variation is informed by Carrot’s COVID-19 Critical Infection Risk Index.
Mortality %: The percent of critical cases expected to end in mortality. Current early findings
vary widely; mortality rates among critical cases range from 22-49% in studies reviewed. The
default assumption in this report is set at 20%; users can simulate different scenarios.
Simulated Mortality Volume: The number of total mortalities in the respective geography based
on the Infection %, Critical Case Volume %, and Mortality % assumptions.
David A. Rearick, DO, MBA, CPE
Chief Medical Officer