The Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed two Bulloch County residents died in the past 48 hours due to COVID-19, and 126 new cases were recorded since Tuesday.
Bulloch County's Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said the DPH has reported 10 local deaths in the past three weeks due to COVID — the most in that time frame since the pandemic began in March 2020. Bulloch County now has 73 confirmed total deaths and
62 probable deaths, for a total of 135, according to the Department of Health.
Meanwhile, more Georgians are being diagnosed with COVID-19 than ever before, as the state passed its previous January high for positive tests earlier this week.
The rolling seven-day average for positive COVID-19 tests rose to 9,641 per day Tuesday, topping the previous Jan. 11 high of 9,635, according to Georgia Department of Public Health figures. Georgia recorded 10,033 new cases on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, there were 126 deaths reported in the state, the most since 139 on March 3.
Wynn said East Georgia Regional Medical Center was treating 63 patients hospitalized with COVID on Wednesday — down from the record 73 patients a week ago and down from 67 on Monday.
Wynn said 18 patients are on ventilators, which is down two from Monday.
There were 5,729 COVID-19 patients hospitalized across Georgia on Wednesday, nearly one-third of all people in hospitals. That surpassed the record of 5,715 patients set on Jan. 13.
Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey said hospital emergency rooms across the state are overrun by people seeking COVID-19 tests. She said the state is trying to set up testing sites near hospitals to relieve some of the burden.
More than 92% of intensive care beds were in use at the beginning of the week, roughly equal with the number of ICU beds in use in late January. Hospitals in regions around Macon, Rome and Waycross were reporting they were using more than 100% of intensive care beds. Hospitals in the region around Athens reported having one spare ICU bed at one point Monday, while hospitals in the region around Albany reported having two spare ICU beds.
Nearly 50 hospitals statewide were turning away ambulances carrying either all patients or intensive care patients, according to the Georgia Coordinating Center.
New cases around the U.S. are now averaging about 160,000 per day, according to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, along with an average of 1,346 deaths per day due to COVID.
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MAKO will ask for your insurance, but patients without insurance will not have to pay anything for testing. Results are available in two to three days.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.