After just eight newly confirmed cases were reported Sunday, 11 Monday, 11 Tuesday and 14 Wednesday, the numbers of new COVID-19 cases confirmed among Bulloch County residents surged again Thursday, when 38 new cases were confirmed.
All of these numbers are from the Bulloch County segment of statewide updates posted by the Georgia Department of Public Health, conveyed in reports with additional local information from Bulloch County Public Safety and Emergency Management Director Ted Wynn.
With Thursday’s report, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases among Bulloch residents rose to 1,175. But 308 confirmed new cases, 26.3% of the total number here since the first case appeared in the spring, have appeared in the last two weeks.
Official reports lag
While official records now show Bulloch County’s COVID-19 death total at 14, there have been 16 Bulloch resident fatalities believed related to the coronavirus.
Tuesday, the Georgia Department of Public Health had not yet listed the passing of longtime Statesboro High School basketball coach Lee Hill as one of Bulloch County’s COVID-19 fatalities, said that day. The 13th death of a Bulloch resident was another man, age 65.
Hill, who was 68, died Saturday after an almost two-month battle with the coronavirus. The Department of Public Health does not identify individuals by name, but Wednesday’s update of the state COVID-19 report listed a man, 68, as Bulloch County’s 14th fatality.
However, Wynn indicated Tuesday that the total would probably rise to 16, as numbers in the state report lag behind local knowledge. The Bulloch County Emergency Medical Service responded to calls of two people Monday who were diagnosed with the virus and were deceased upon EMS arrival, he said.
"EMS responded to five COVID-19 calls in the last 24 hours,” Wynn said Tuesday. “Three were transported, and two were deceased at the scene.”
Number at EGRMC
East Georgia Regional Medical Center in Statesboro was treating 22 COVID patients Thursday, including three on ventilators. There had been 21 COVID patients in the hospital Wednesday, including six on ventilators. That was down from 24 COVID patients, nine of whom had been on ventilators, Tuesday. The EGRMC patient counts, which Wynn reports, include residents of other counties as well as Bulloch residents.
There have been 84 probable and 67 confirmed coronavirus patients transported by Bulloch County EMS to date, and a total of 83 hospitalizations of Bulloch residents.
“All Georgians are encouraged to implement ‘Four Things for Four Weeks’ into their daily routines to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19,” Wynn said.
This means wear a mask when out in public or when you cannot keep distance inside; practice physical distancing, staying six feet away from people you do not live with; wash your hands for 20 seconds several times throughout the day with soap and warm water or use hand sanitizer; and follow the executive orders and guidance by public health officials, he said.
Free COVID testing by appointment is available at the Specimen Point of Collection site located at 1 W. Altman St. in Statesboro. For an appointment, call (855) 473-4374, or schedule a test online here.
This report was updated from a Wednesday online story by Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon with new material added by Herald reporter Al Hackle.