Teachers and employees of the Bulloch County Schools System lined up in their vehicles Friday afternoon at the Bulloch County Health Department to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
Hayley Greene, public relations director for the schools system, said 151 people had signed up for Friday’s drive-thru clinic, which was the first of three currently scheduled by the school system giving any employees the opportunity to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
On March 19, next Friday, a second drive-thru clinic will be held 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Health Department on Altman St., and another clinic is now scheduled on that day specifically for transportation employees in the schools system.
“So far we have more than 300 people signed up across the three clinics and people are still signing up for the March 19 ones,” Greene said.
The transportation clinic is for bus drivers, monitors, mechanics and other transportation personnel who may not be able to make the other clinics due to their work schedules. It will be held at the Transportation & Technology Annex, 219 Simons Road, from 9-11 a.m.
A third clinic is tentatively scheduled for March 26, depending on demand, Greene said. The school district also is coordinating with other local providers to host additional clinics based on demand.
Greene said appointments may be made at www.bullochschools.org/vaccine. The website will allow employees to select the day and time they wish to come.
Local/state COVID cases
Bulloch County had only two new cases of COVID-19 reported on Friday. Four new cases were recorded Thursday. Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn, however, said the coronavirus claimed the life of a 53rd Bulloch resident – a 53-year-old man with previous health conditions died on Thursday.
Wynn said Bulloch now has a total of 5,109 confirmed cases since the pandemic began in March 2020. The COVID cases have resulted in 53 confirmed deaths and 206 local residents being hospitalized since the pandemic began in March.
Across the state, there were 1,122 new cases on Thursday and 1,251 on Friday. The state's total number of confirmed cases is now up to 833, 665.
The state reported 86 deaths on Thursday and 49 on Friday. Georgia’s death toll now stands at 15,831 since March 2020.
In Bulloch County, vaccine providers received an additional 3,400 doses this week, and have received 22,800 vaccines in total according to the Georgia Department of Health website. Through Friday afternoon, 19,888 local vaccines have been administered, including 7,798 second doses.
On Wednesday, Gov. Brian Kemp announced that everyone 55 and older, plus younger adults with serious health conditions could receive a shot beginning Monday.
Through Friday afternoon, 2,615,845 vaccinations have been administered in Georgia — a total that includes 1,010,030 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 Thursday were caring for nine COVID patients, with two patients on ventilators.
National case numbers
According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Friday afternoon, 532,151 Americans had died from coronavirus. Also, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 29,330,642 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
The Bulloch County Schools system reported six new cases this week, and a total of 605 COVID cases since classes started on Aug. 17.
Georgia Southern had 20 total cases reported March 1–7 — 15 self-reported and five university-confirmed cases. GS reported 21 total cases for the week of Feb. 22–28.
The 20 new coronavirus cases include 12 on the Statesboro campus, eight 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 on Friday. 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.