On the same day more than 3.3 million additional Georgians became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, Bulloch County recorded its lowest two-week rate for new coronavirus cases since the earliest days of the pandemic.
Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said for the first time since last May, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported Bulloch dropped below 100 COVID cases per 100,000 population on Saturday, which is one of the first goals in getting the virus under control in a geographic area. On Monday, that number was down to 86 cases per 100,000.
Also, Wynn said the state health department reported Bulloch dipped below the 5% daily positivity rate of new COVID tests over the weekend – another key data point in gaining control of the virus.
For comparison, at the height of the pandemic in Bulloch in early September, the county reported the average number of new cases in a two-week period reached a high of 1,206 cases per 100,000 population on Sept. 9. On Sept. 4, the percentage of all tests given in Bulloch coming back positive for COVID-19 was at 30.2%.
Monday was the first day that people aged 55 to 64 could get shots, as well as people with serious health conditions and those who are overweight and obese.
Len McCook, co-owner of McCook’s Pharmacy in Statesboro, said the pharmacy staff is administering about 100 vaccines per day, which is about their limit. He said he is hopeful the regular shipments of vaccine will continue from the state and they will be able to meet the demand.
McCook’s and other independent pharmacies like Forest Heights, Medical Center Pharmacy and The Prescription Shop are among 12 approved providers in Bulloch to administer the vaccine, in addition to pharmacy chains like Walmart, CVS and Walgreens.
Local/state COVID cases
Bulloch County had a total of seven new cases of COVID-19 since Friday. Five new cases were recorded Saturday, but only one case each day for Sunday and Monday. Wynn, however, said the coronavirus claimed the life of a 54th Bulloch resident. No details have been given on the age or other health factors of the victim
Wynn said Bulloch now has a total of 5,116 confirmed cases since the pandemic began in March 2020. The COVID cases have resulted in 54 confirmed deaths and 207 local residents being hospitalized since the pandemic began in March.
Across the state, there were 1,059 new cases on Saturday, 789 on Sunday and 866 on Monday. The state's total number of confirmed cases is now up to 836,334.
The state reported 40 deaths on Saturday, none on Sunday and 47 on Monday. Georgia’s death toll now stands at 15,918 since March 2020.
In Bulloch County, vaccine providers have received 22,800 vaccines in total according to the Georgia Department of Health website. Through Monday afternoon, 20,924 local vaccines have been administered, including 8,194 second doses.
Through Monday afternoon, 2,740,601 vaccinations have been administered in Georgia — a total that includes 1,034,938 second doses, according to the Department of Public Health.
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.
Wynn said East Georgia Regional Medical Center staff on Monday were caring for five COVID patients, with two patients on ventilators.
National case numbers
According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Monday afternoon, 535,472 Americans had died from coronavirus. Also, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 29,480,782 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
The Bulloch County Schools system reported no new cases so far this week, and a total of 608 COVID cases since classes started on Aug. 17. After recording 309 cases between Jan. 3 and Feb. 13, the school system has had only 47 total new cases since Feb. 13.
Georgia Southern had 19 total cases reported March 8-14 – 15 self-reported and four university-confirmed cases. GS reported 21 total cases for the week of Feb. 22–28.
The 19 new coronavirus cases include 14 on the Statesboro campus, five on the Armstrong-Savannah campus and none on the Liberty campus in Hinesville.
East Georgia State College reported no new cases across its three campuses since March 9. The college has had a total of 154 cases across its three campuses since Aug. 17.
Ogeechee Technical College reported two new cases on the Statesboro campus for the week of March 1–7. Ogeechee Tech has had a total of 69 cases across its campuses since Aug. 17.