While Bulloch County and the rest of the state are waiting on more vaccine, COVID-19 cases in Bulloch and across the state saw a drop over the weekend.
Bulloch reported 44 new cases since Friday — 22 on Saturday, 16 Sunday and the six cases on Monday. Bulloch now has recorded 4,770 total COVID cases, which have resulted in 47 deaths and 188 local residents being hospitalized since the pandemic began in March.
Despite the decline in cases, Bulloch County Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said another Bulloch resident died as a result of COVID and one more probably died due to the virus. The confirmed death was a 79-year-old woman with no previous medical conditions, Wynn said.
The state Department of Health reported an additional death in Bulloch on Saturday probably was caused by COVID. According to the Georgia DPH, the 35 non-confirmed deaths represent Bulloch citizens who received a positive antigen/rapid test for COVID-19, developed COVID-19 symptoms and then died.
Across the state, case numbers did see an almost 25% drop from the previous week. The Department of Health reported about 7,000 fewer COVID-19 cases in the past week.
Georgia recorded 3,285 new cases on Saturday, 3,201 on Sunday and 2,492 on Monday. The state's total number of confirmed cases is now up to 775,466, an increase of 23,018 cases in the past week, but 7,368 fewer new cases than reported the week before.
The state, sadly, did set another single-day record for most deaths, with 179 on Saturday, but the state’s toll slowed down on Sunday and Monday, with five deaths reported Sunday and 35 on Monday. The state death toll now stands at 13,361 since March.
Meanwhile, the now 16 Bulloch County providers listed as qualified by the Georgia Department of Health to receive and administer vaccines received 1,800 additional vaccine doses on Monday, according to the department’s website.
So far, the providers, which include the Bulloch County Health Department, East Georgia Regional Medical Center, six pharmacies and several local health practices, have been allocated 12,000 vaccine doses by the state. The Health Department received an additional 1,000 doses on Monday.
Still, the Health Department and most providers have not resumed scheduling new vaccine appointments that was paused on Jan. 25. Amid a tight supply, officials said they want to be sure there is enough vaccine for second doses and for those who already have scheduled an appointment.
The state had administered about 1.2 million doses as of Monday — about 71% of the vaccine it’s been allocated, according to the Department of Health website. The best-performing states have used more than 85% of their vaccine doses.
Wynn said East Georgia Regional Medical Center staff on Wednesday were caring for 27 COVID patients, with 11 patients on ventilators.
COVID cases that require hospitalization continue to see a strong decline in Georgia. After setting a single-day high Jan. 11 with 6,108 state residents hospitalized, that number dropped to 3,740 hospitalized on Sunday. Also, it was the first day since Dec. 21 that fewer than 4,000 people were hospitalized in Georgia.
Across the United States, cases that require hospitalization have seen a steady decline, as well, since hitting a peak on Jan. 6 of 132,474 Americans in the hospital with COVID. On Sunday, hospitalizations had dropped to 81,439. It marked the 26th consecutive day of a decline in hospitalizations.
National case numbers
According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Monday afternoon, 464,470 Americans had died from coronavirus. Also, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 27,064,922 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
The Bulloch County Schools system has reported 14 new cases this week, for a total of 535 COVID cases since classes started on Aug. 17. The school system has recorded 293 confirmed cases since Jan. 3, but last week marked the first weekly decline in confirmed cases since classes resumed in January after the Christmas break.
For the second week in a row, Georgia Southern University saw small increase in new cases this past week.
Georgia Southern had 80 total cases reported Feb. 1–7 — 69 self-reported and 11 university confirmed cases. GS reported 76 total cases for the week of Jan. 25–31.
The 80 new coronavirus cases include 60 on the Statesboro campus, 17 on the Armstrong-Savannah campus and three on the Liberty campus in Hinesville.
East Georgia State College reported no new cases on its three campuses the past five days. The college has had a total of 150 cases across its three campuses since Aug. 17.
Ogeechee Technical College reported two new cases for the week of Feb. 1–7. Both cases were recorded on the Statesboro campus. Ogeechee Tech has had a total of 63 cases across its campuses since Aug. 17.
COVID-19 testing operated by Mako Medical is available at Luetta Moore Park, 585 Martin Luther King Drive.
Testing schedule: Monday, Wednesday — 8 a.m.–3 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday — 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Friday — 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; second and fourth Saturday of each month — 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
To register, visit https://mako.exchange/splash/GAmakotesting/.