On April 11, 2020, Bulloch County’s first local resident died due to COVID-19. On Thursday, an 86-year-old man became the 50th confirmed county resident to fall victim to the pandemic.
Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said the Georgia Department of Public Health reported the man did not present with any other conditions before succumbing to the coronavirus. Earlier this week, two other county residents died from COVID and two more probably died due to COVID, according to the Department of Health.
But, despite surpassing 5,000 total cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the county continues to see a decline in new cases, with only three reported on Friday.
With nine cases reported Wednesday, Wynn said Bulloch now has a total of 5,025 confirmed cases since the pandemic began in March 2020. The 5,025 total COVID cases have resulted in 50 deaths and 201 local residents being hospitalized since the pandemic began in March.
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.
And, for the first time since Dec. 6, Wynn said East Georgia Regional Medical Center staff reported Friday that they were caring for fewer than 10 COVID patients. Of the nine patients currently being treated, four are on ventilators.
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 15,387 vaccines of the 16,700 doses shipped to the county, so far.
Through Friday afternoon, 1,936,680 vaccinations have been administered in Georgia – a total that includes 715,039 second doses, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
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 Thursday he is expanding who is eligible to receive a vaccine. On March 8, Preschool and K-12 school employees, adults with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers and parents of children with complex medical conditions will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia.
Kemp said that he will expand eligibility later in March to more people with high-risk health conditions.
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.
Across the state, with 2,200 new case on Thursday and 2,265 on Friday, the state's total number of confirmed cases is now up to 814,820. Georgia has seen fewer than 2,500 new daily COVID cases for 13 consecutive days, a streak not seen since early October
The state reported 20 deaths on Friday and 107 on Thursday. Georgia’s death toll now stands at 15,007 since March 2020.
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 2,583 hospitalized on Thursday. 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 Thursday, hospitalizations had dropped to 52,669. It marked the 44th consecutive day of a decline in hospitalizations.
National case numbers
According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Friday afternoon, 509,710 Americans had died from coronavirus. Also, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 28,464,252 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
The Bulloch County Schools system reported 21 new cases this week, and a total of 591 COVID cases since classes started on Aug. 17.
Georgia Southern University 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/.