While new cases of COVID-19 saw their lowest weekly increase in more than a month, two Bulloch County residents have died due to the virus since Wednesday and the Georgia Department of Public Health said COVID probably took the lives of another six locals, as well.
Bulloch Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said 17 new confirmed cases were reported on Friday, which brought the total cases for the past week to 186, down from 487 total cases for the week of Aug. 27-Sept. 3 and down from 522 for the week of Aug. 20-27.
However, local COVID victims are dying at the highest rate since the pandemic began with 16 confirmed deaths since Aug. 10 and six probable deaths this week alone.
Bulloch now has recorded 7,618 total COVID cases, which have resulted in 79 confirmed deaths. The state Department of Health is reporting an additional 68 deaths in Bulloch probably were caused by COVID.
East Georgia Regional Medical Center postponed scheduled elective surgeries earlier this week, but hospital CEO Stephen Pennington said they “will reassess (elective surgeries) at the end of next week.”
Wynn said as of Friday 59 patients are hospitalized at EGRMC, with 19 on ventilators.
“ICU beds continue to be at capacity at EGRMC as is the case for our entire region,” Pennington said. “We anticipate the demand for ICU beds to continue to be a challenge through at least the rest of September.”
But the CEO did offer a positive sign.
“We are seeing the number of cases start to decline in the hospital,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all patients and family members that are being impacted.”
Similarly, after reaching a pandemic high of 6,032 patients hospitalized across Georgia on Tuesday, the number declined by 300 on Friday to 5,732.
State case numbers
Georgia recorded 6,573 new cases on Friday and 4,827 on Thursday. The state's total number of confirmed cases is now up to 1,151,432.
In Georgia, there were 128 confirmed deaths on Friday and 155 on Thursday, pushing the total to 20,581 deaths since March.
New cases around the U.S. are now averaging about 148,000 per day, according to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, along with an average of 1,579 deaths per day due to COVID.