On the same day Bulloch County surpassed 5,000 total cases of COVID-19, the deaths of two more residents due to the virus were confirmed along with two probable deaths.
Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said the Georgia Department of Public Health reported Wednesday an 87-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman had died from coronavirus. Additionally, two county residents had positive rapid tests and later died after developing COVID symptoms.
With nine cases reported Wednesday, Wynn said Bulloch now has a total of 5,005 confirmed cases since the pandemic began in March 2020. The 5,005 total COVID cases have resulted in 49 deaths and 199 local residents being hospitalized since the pandemic began in March, Wynn said.
Also, with the two additional probable deaths, the state Department of Health has reported 41 non-confirmed deaths, which represent Bulloch citizens who received a positive antigen/rapid test for COVID-19, developed COVID-19 symptoms and then died.
Meanwhile, Bulloch County received 2,600 more doses of Moderna vaccine earlier this week and the 12 approved providers by the Department of Health have administered 14,993 vaccines of the 16,700 doses shipped to the county, so far. The Department did not report how many of those vaccines were second doses.
Actually, 24 Bulloch County providers are approved to give vaccinations, but only 12 have received vaccine shipments.
Among local providers, both the Bulloch County Health Department and McCook’s Pharmacy received 700 vaccine doses this week. Also, Georgia Southern University received 500, while Forest Heights Pharmacy received 300 more doses.
Currently, anyone 65 and older is eligible to receive a vaccine along with other groups, including health care workers and law enforcement and rescue personnel.
Gov. Brian Kemp said last week he is considering expanding who is eligible to receive a vaccine, but he did not specify when he would do that.
Bulloch residents are urged to contact private providers such as East Georgia Regional Medical Center and local pharmacies directly to see if a vaccine appointment is available.
The only way to schedule an appointment at the Bulloch Health Department is to call (855) 473-4374. Officials asked callers to be patient while on hold to make an appointment.
If an appointment is not available at the Altman St. office in Statesboro, they can schedule an appointment at any of the health departments in the area through the same appointment number.
Through Wednesday afternoon, 1,834,738 vaccinations have been administered in Georgia – a total that includes 652,025 second doses, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Across the state, for the first time since October, Georgia has seen 11 consecutive days of recording fewer than 2,500 single-day cases. With 2,333 new case on Tuesday and 2,099 on Wednesday, the state's total number of confirmed cases is now up to 810,473.
The state, reported 75 deaths on Tuesday and 121 on Wednesday. The state death toll now stands at 14,882 since March 2020.
Wynn said East Georgia Regional Medical Center staff on Monday were caring for 14 COVID patients, with two patients on ventilators.
COVID cases that require hospitalization continue to see a strong decline in Georgia. After setting a single-day high Jan. 13 with 6,108 state residents hospitalized, that number dropped to 2,696 hospitalized on Tuesday. Hospitalizations have declined almost every day since Jan. 13.
Across the United States, cases that require hospitalization have dropped significantly since hitting a peak on Jan. 6 of 132,474 Americans in the hospital with COVID. On Tuesday, hospitalizations had dropped to 55,058. It marked the 42nd consecutive day of a decline in hospitalizations.
National case numbers
According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Wednesday afternoon, 504,135 Americans had died from coronavirus. Also, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 28,309,558 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
The Bulloch County Schools system reported 20 new cases this week, and a total of 590 COVID cases since classes started on Aug. 17. Schools were closed last week for Winter Break.
For the second week in a row, Georgia Southern University saw a 35% drop in new cases this past week.
Georgia Southern had 34 total cases reported Feb. 15-21 — 28 self-reported and six university confirmed cases. GS reported 52 total cases for the week of Feb. 8-14.
East Georgia State College has reported no new cases across its three campuses since Feb. 15. The college has had a total of 153 cases across its three campuses since Aug. 17.
Ogeechee Technical College reported three new cases for the week of Feb. 15–21. Ogeechee Tech has had a total of 67 cases across its campuses since Aug. 17.
COVID-19 testing operated by Mako Medical is available at Luetta Moore Park, 585 Martin Luther King Drive.
Testing schedule: Monday, Wednesday — 8 a.m.–3 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday — 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Friday — 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; second and fourth Saturday of each month — 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
To register, visit https://mako.exchange/splash/GAmakotesting/.