The death of a 47-year-old man marks the seventh COVID-19 fatality in Bulloch County, as the number of positive cases in the county rose to 751 on Friday.
Bulloch County Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said the man who died this week had no known underlying conditions.
Wynn echoes health professionals in urging people to wear masks in public, stay at least 6 feet apart, wash hands and use sanitizer frequently.
With 28 more cases reported Friday (totaling 751), the numbers “marked the second-biggest weekly jump, with 170 additional cases since July 10,” he said. “Bulloch has seen an increase of 689 cases in the six weeks since June 1.”
Bulloch County and its city governments are actively promoting safety measures to “stop the spread,” including handing out masks to the public, but the dangers of contracting the coronavirus are increasing. Wynn said Georgia has now reached “widespread community transmission” status.
“Community spread happens when people contract the virus but do not know how or when they got it,” he said.
This places the state in the “acceleration phase of a pandemic, meaning cases are rising up a curve, according to health officials,” he said. ”Cases, tests, hospitalizations and deaths are all rising.”
The positive test rate is now 13.6%, which is 2 percentage points away from the CDC danger zone of 15 percent, he said. President Donald Trump’s task force “identified 18 states that are in the red zone for cases,” Wynn said, and Georgia is one of them.
In Bulloch County, since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 59 hospitalizations of residents with COVID-19. East Georgia Regional Medical Center was caring for 22 patients with the virus on Friday, with five on ventilators, Wynn said.
Bulloch County EMS transported one positive COVID-19 case and three probable cases between Thursday and Friday, totaling 56 probable and 41 positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
In order to schedule a free COVID-19 test online, visit https://www.sehdph.org/covid-19/ or call 855-473-4374 for an appointment.
“Starting Monday, July 20, due to extreme heat indices during the afternoon hours, our local Specimen Point of Collection Center will open only from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.,” Wynn said.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.