A week ago, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported Bulloch County had recorded a total of 5,304 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the first case was reported on March 27, 2020. In its daily report on Monday, however, the Department of Health had reduced that number by more than 100 cases.
Officials with the Department of Health said the agency is reevaluating all previous data and revising case and fatality counts where necessary.
“These total changes are due to a review of historical data (by the Department of Public Health),” said Katie Hadden, public information officer for the 16-county Southeast Health District, which includes Bulloch. “The reviews are occurring across the state, and as they do, data is increasing in its accuracy. In some instances, cases initially defined as laboratory confirmed should have been reported as a probable case.”
Based on the department’s review, Bulloch County’s confirmed case number was decreased from 5,304 to 5,200 on Monday. Also, local confirmed fatalities were reduced by one from 64 to 63 and total hospitalizations of residents were adjusted downward from 228 last week to 224 on Monday.
Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said he is unsure exactly how the Department of Health arrived at its updated numbers, but he said: “We will use this week as a new starting point to mark weekly changes up or down going forward.”
After issuing daily COVID-19 reports for 14 months, Wynn switched to a weekly report two weeks ago.
For the first time since the university began tracking COVID cases across its three campuses in July 2020, there were no weekly cases reported of COVID-19 last week. The report follows the fourth completed week of the summer semester.
The previous week, Georgia Southern had one confirmed case and four self-reported cases for May 31–June 6.
“While Georgia Southern’s COVID-19 numbers, like the region, state and country, have decreased significantly since the pandemic started, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to take advantage of our on-going on-campus opportunities to get a COVID-19 vaccination,” university officials said in the weekly report.
According to the latest figures from the Georgia Department of Public Health, 18,168 Bulloch residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine — 24% — and 16,171 are fully vaccinated — 21%.
“Our low vaccination rate still concerns me, despite our low incidences of new COVID infections,” Wynn said. “More than 175 million Americans and hundreds of millions more around the world have been vaccinated. It’s safe and effective. Please consider again getting a shot.”
For the second consecutive Saturday, the City of Statesboro and Squashing the Spread Bulloch are offering free COVID-19 vaccine pop-up events at local grocery stores on from 9–11 a.m. at each store.
The vaccines will be administered by local health providers at no cost. The participating grocery stores are: Food Lion — 325 Northside Drive East; Food World — 2949 Northside Drive West; and Walmart — 147 Northside Drive East.
In addition to the vaccine shots being given at three local grocery stores on Saturday, vaccinations are readily available at area pharmacies, doctors’ offices, the Bulloch County Health Department and East Georgia Regional Medical Center.
Across the nation, the CDC reports about 174 million Americans have had at least one dose and 145 million are fully vaccinated. Among people 65 years and older, 87% have had one shot, while 76% are fully vaccinated.
According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Monday afternoon, 599,943 Americans had died from coronavirus.
Also on Monday, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 33,471,402 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.