A week after the Georgia Department of Public Health revised Bulloch County’s total confirmed cases of COVID-19 downward, Bulloch reported its highest number of weekly cases in two months.
Despite the increase of 23 cases in the past seven days, Bulloch is still considered at moderate risk for COVID infection, and cases around the state and nation continue to decline significantly.
COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have dipped below 300 a day for the first time since the early days of the pandemic in March 2020, while the drive to put shots in arms approached another encouraging milestone Monday: 150 million Americans fully vaccinated.
In Georgia, no deaths were reported on Sunday or Monday and the number of daily cases is at its lowest level since March 2020.
The Department of Public Health dropped Bulloch’s total number of confirmed COVID cases from 5,304 to 5,200 last week after reevaluating previous data.
Based on the department’s review, Bulloch County’s confirmed cases number was decreased from 5,304 to 5,200 on Monday. Also, local confirmed fatalities were reduced by two, from 64 to 62, and total hospitalizations of residents were adjusted downward from 228 last week to 224.
With the 23 cases added from last week, Bulloch now has recorded 5,223 cases since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Across the nation, new cases are running at about 11,400 a day on average, down from more than 250,000 per day in early January. Average deaths per day are down to about 293, according to Johns Hopkins University, after topping out at more than 3,400 in mid-January.
The coronavirus was the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020, behind heart disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But now, as the outbreak loosens its grip, it has fallen down the list of the biggest killers.
CDC data suggests that more Americans are dying every day from accidents, chronic lower respiratory diseases, strokes or Alzheimer’s disease than from COVID-19.
For the second consecutive week since the university began tracking COVID cases across its three campuses in July 2020, there were no weekly cases reported of COVID-19 in the past week. The report follows the fifth completed week of the summer semester.
Last week, the Department of Health also announced that after factoring further vaccination address data, Bulloch County added about 2,000 more people who had received the first dose, and about 2,000 more who were fully vaccinated. With the revised county data added in, Bulloch jumped to 20,662 with at least the first dose — 27%. Also, the new figures show 18,552 people are fully vaccinated – 24.
Vaccinations are readily available at area pharmacies, doctors’ offices, the Bulloch County Health Department and East Georgia Regional Medical Center.
Georgia ranks in the bottom 10, per capita, for vaccinations according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
Only a third of Black Georgians have received at least one dose, compared to 38% of white Georgians and 72% of Asian residents, state data show. Only Hispanic residents are faring worse, with about 31% having received one dose.
Despite the low vaccination rates, Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey said she remained hopeful that Georgia could reach 70% to 80% of the eligible population of people 12 and older in the coming months.
“I do believe that we will get there and I think the more people are vaccinated, the more comfort there is within the community,” Toomey said, adding family members, pastors, physicians and coworkers would be the best advocates to persuade those who are holding back.
Across the nation, the CDC reports about 177 million Americans have had at least one dose and 149.7 million are fully vaccinated. Among people 65 years and older, 87% have had one shot, while 76% are fully vaccinated.
According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Monday afternoon, 601,978 Americans had died from coronavirus.
Also on Monday, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 33,550,465 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.