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COVID case surge continues across Bulloch
Omicron variant proving less serious, so far
Corona
Ted Wynn

New COVID-19 cases continued to surge in Bulloch County and throughout the state in the past week, but the omicron variant is, so far, not making people as sick or filling hospital beds at East Georgia Regional Medical Center.

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 881 new cases of COVID-19 in Bulloch over the past week, and the county has seen an increase of almost 2,000 cases since Dec. 27.

For its first full week of classes for the 2022 spring semester, Georgia Southern University reported 318 confirmed and self-reported cases on the Statesboro campus. The previous week, the university reported 228 cases in Statesboro.

New COVID cases at Bulloch County Schools jumped to 195 for the week of Jan. 9–15 after reporting 81 new cases the previous week. Every school reported at least seven cases, except Portal Elementary, which had two. Statesboro High — the largest school — reported the most cases with 39.

The 195 cases were the most new cases in one week since 245 were reported Aug. 22–28 in 2021.

In his weekly report Monday, Ted Wynn, director of the Bulloch Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency, said the rate of positive COVID tests in Bulloch County hit 40% on Monday — the highest rate since the pandemic began in March 2020. The goal for percentage of positive tests is less than 5%.

Despite the massive increase in cases, Wynn said hospitalizations for COVID-19 at East Georgia Regional Medical Center saw a small decline from 26 on Jan. 10 to 23 on Monday.

Across Georgia, the Department of Health said the state has recorded more than 120,000 new cases in the past week and is now averaging 18,954 cases per day, which actually is down about 2,000 daily cases from a week ago.

The U.S. as whole has seen the average number of cases per day rise from 94,930 on Dec. 2 to 801,903 on Sunday, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Also, the CDC reported an average of 1,964 Americans are dying every day due to the virus.

 

Vaccinations

Vaccines are still doing their job in preventing serious illness, particularly for people who've gotten boosters, according to the CDC.

Two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still offer strong protection against serious illness from omicron. While health officials have determined those initial doses aren’t very good at blocking omicron infection, boosters — particularly with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines — rev up levels of the antibodies to help fend off infection.

COVID vaccines and boosters are free and available at doctors’ offices and pharmacies around Bulloch and at the Bulloch County Health Department.

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