A day after Bulloch County recorded only 12 confirmed coronavirus cases for Saturday and Sunday combined – the lowest weekend total in two months – COVID-19 spiked once again with 39 confirmed cases reported Monday in Bulloch.
Also, over the weekend, Georgia become the 10th state in the nation to report that it had surpassed 5,000 deaths caused by COVID-19. The Georgia Department of Public Health said there were 140 deaths reported for Saturday and Sunday, and 25 more on Monday, which pushed the total to at least 5,156 deaths in the state caused by the coronavirus among 256,253 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Meanwhile, Bulloch County Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said Bulloch had five confirmed cases Sunday and seven Saturday for a total of 12, the lowest weekend sum since June 13-14. With the 39 additional cases Monday, Bulloch now has 1,511 confirmed cases in Bulloch County, 19 deaths and 103 hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic.
Currently, 20 COVID-19 patients are being treated at East Georgia Regional Medical Center, with five on ventilators.
Though both Georgia Southern University and Bulloch County public schools began classes last week, Wynn was unsure of any connection to the increase in cases.
“I will say what I have learned from my many conference calls with the (Georgia Department of Public Health), that when people gather in large groups with no social distancing, no facemasks or coverings, and lack of hand washing or following DPH and CDC guidelines, it will cause a spike in the infection rate,” he said. “I am not saying that our citizens or students are disregarding the proper safety measures, but we must all remain vigilant if we hope to beat this pandemic.”
Data kept by The Associated Press shows the coronavirus has been spreading in Georgia faster per-capita than any other state over the past two weeks, although infection numbers have been declining in the state since their peak last month.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who was among the first governors to ease earlier restrictions this spring, highlighted the downward trends this past week. He has used social media to remind residents to wear a mask, maintain social distancing and follow guidance from the health department.
More than 177,000 people have died of coronavirus in the U.S., the most of any other country, according to Johns Hopkins University. Georgia, the eighth-most populous state, ranks 10th in overall coronavirus deaths.
Still, state health officials said heart disease and cancer kill more people in Georgia each year than any other condition, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Over the approximately six months since the virus was first reported in Georgia, COVID-19 deaths would rank third, the newspaper reported.
Public Health officials announced some positive trends, including:
- The seven-day average of new cases reported in Georgia is down 30% from the peak on July 24.
- Daily hospitalizations have decreased almost 25% since 3,200 Georgians were reported hospitalized on July 30.