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Bulloch COVID case rate still rising
40 new cases in a day push total 13% higher
COVID testing
The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Bulloch County jumped to 60 Thursday, an increase of seven in one day and the largest single-day increase in Bulloch. (SPECIAL)

With 40 new cases confirmed in the 24 hours before Tuesday’s daily report, the cumulative count of confirmed COVID-19 cases among Bulloch County residents since the pandemic began rose 13% in a single day, from 299 to 339.

The county continues in the category of “substantial spread,” Bulloch County Public Safety and Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn noted in his update. The highest bracket of community spread of the disease as determined by the Georgia Department of Public Health, this reflects a county having more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents. Bulloch County, with 79,608 residents in the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimate, has now seen the cumulative equivalent of 426.6 cases per 100,000 residents.

The Statesboro Herald is still seeking clarification from the state Southeast Health District of whether the rates actually refer to new cases in a certain period, such as one or two weeks, instead of a cumulative total. But Bulloch currently qualifies for the “substantial spread” tier either way, having had 107 newly confirmed cases reported in just five days, Thursday through Monday.

Hospitalizations

Of those testing positive for the coronavirus, 30 Bulloch County residents so far, or less than 10%, have been hospitalized, according to the Department of Public Health data. The deaths of four residents of the county have been attributed to the disease.

But East Georgia Regional Medical Center, which draws patients from several counties, has admitted 61 COVID-19 patients to date, Wynn noted after hearing Steve Pennington, the hospital’s CEO, speak Tuesday at a videoconference hosted by the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce.

Of those patients, 14 remained in the hospital Tuesday. Unchanged from Monday, this is the largest number of coronavirus patients under EGRMC’s care at one time since the first COVID-19 patient was admitted in April.

Pennington also reportedly said that recent COVID-19 patients are sicker and younger than those admitted previously. Statewide data show that Georgia residents ages 18-29 are now the age bracket with the highest number of confirmed cases, although more deaths have occurred among older patients.

In the past week, more than 13,500 additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Georgia, for a cumulative total of 81,291 as of 3 p.m. Tuesday, resulting in 11,051 hospitalizations, 2,323 intensive care unit admissions and 2,805 deaths, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.

The United States has recorded 2,581,229 cases and 126,739 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.

Other local COVID info

Bulloch County EMS transported no additional COVID-19 patients in the 24 hours before Tuesday’s report. To date, the Emergency Medical Service has transported 32 probable and 17 confirmed coronavirus patients. Three more confirmations were added with this report.

The Specimen Point of Collection at the local Health Department, 1 W. Altman St. in Statesboro, was closed at the time of the report. But call 855-473-4374 for an appointment for free testing.

Bulloch VOAD is working with vulnerable individuals impacted by COVID-19. To date, the Emergency Management Agency has facilitated 39 resource requests and completed all 39, Wynn reported.

He continues to urge people to practice the three W’s:

  • Wear a face covering when in public places.
  • Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face.
  • Watch you distance.

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