Nine more Bulloch County residents died in the past week due to COVID-19, as Bulloch surpassed 200 total deaths since the pandemic began.
The Georgia Department of Public Health said there were two confirmed and seven probable deaths since Oct. 26. Bulloch County now stands at 98 confirmed and 103 probable deaths for a total of 201. Since Monday, there have been one confirmed and four probable deaths since Monday. There have been 77 deaths due to COVID, more than one-third of the total, in the past 12 weeks — 35 confirmed and 42 probable.
Bulloch County saw a few more cases this past week than it has experienced in a month, with 18 confirmed cases pushing the total to 7,909.
Also, Bulloch County Public Safety and Emergency Management Director Ted Wynn said East Georgia Regional Medical Center four patients hospitalized with COVID and two on ventilators on Monday.
With new cases and deaths still high due to the virulent delta variant of the virus, but stabilizing, the focus remains on convincing people to get vaccinations, with an emphasis now on children.
By vaccinating children, the U.S. hopes to head off another coronavirus wave during the cold-weather months when people spend more time indoors and respiratory illnesses can spread more easily. Cases have been declining for weeks, but the virus has repeatedly shown its ability to stage a comeback and more easily transmissible mutations are a persistent threat.
The Food and Drug Administration already cleared the shots, which deliver about one-third of the vaccine given to adults.
The goal is for parents to have a range of options for getting children vaccinated, from pediatricians' offices to clinics and pharmacies. Clinical trials of the Pfizer vaccine for children have found it highly effective in preventing serious disease, with no severe adverse reactions in safety and efficacy trials.
Across the nation, about 70% of U.S. adults are now fully vaccinated, while 80% have received at least one vaccine dose.
In Georgia, 56% have received at least one dose and 50% are fully vaccinated. In Bulloch County, 38% have had one dose and 34% are fully vaccinated.
Health officials say the best way to reduce both catching the virus and getting seriously ill or dying if you do contract COVID, remains vaccination. Statistics show the highest rates of infection and incidences of death still occur in areas with the lowest vaccination rates.
Georgia officials say that in addition to the Pfizer booster, local health departments are now offering booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines.
The state is also recommending boosters for any adult who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago. People who received Pfizer or Moderna should seek a booster six months after the earlier vaccination sequence was completed.
In addition to the Bulloch County Public Health Department on Altman St., COVID vaccines and boosters are available at most doctors’ offices and area pharmacies.
With 14 new cases reported last week at Georgia Southern University, COVID cases have dropped for eight out of the past 10 weeks.
Confirmed and self-reported cases at Georgia Southern have fallen from 434 across its three campuses the week of Aug. 16–22, to 14 for the most recent week — Oct. 25–31. Of the past week’s cases, 12 were on the Statesboro campus. There were 389 cases reported on the Statesboro campus for Aug. 16–22.
Bulloch County Schools
Similar to Georgia Southern, reported cases at Bulloch County schools have dropped from 474 for the week of Aug. 15–21 to five for Oct. 24–30. Only four schools reported any cases at all that week and only one school had more than one new case.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.