The Bulloch County Health Department is, once again, accepting new appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine. All public health departments across Georgia paused scheduling appointments on Jan. 25 to make sure there was enough vaccine for second doses and for those who already had future appointments.
“Bulloch County has openings within the next few days for eligible individuals who are interested in receiving their COVID-19 vaccine,” said Katie Hadden, public information officer for the 16-county Southeast Health District, which includes Bulloch. “At most of our vaccination sites, appointments are available in approximately one week.”
Currently, anyone 65 and older is eligible to receive a vaccine along with other groups, including health care workers and law enforcement and rescue personnel.
Like before, the only way to schedule an appointment at the Bulloch Health Department is to call (855) 473-4374. Hadden asked callers to be patient while on hold to make an appointment.
Also, Hadden reminded Bulloch residents that 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.
According to the Georgia Department of Health, the now 16 Bulloch County vaccine providers last received additional doses on Monday, when 1,000 arrived.
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.
The state had administered about 1.35 million doses as of Friday afternoon — about 74% 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.
In Bulloch County, there were 53 new cases reported for Thursday and Friday combined, with 34 on Thursday and 19 on Friday. Bulloch now has recorded 4,863 total COVID cases, which have resulted in 47 deaths and 190 local residents being hospitalized since the pandemic began in March.
Also, Bulloch County Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said the state Department of Health reports there are 36 non-confirmed deaths that represent Bulloch citizens who received a positive antigen/rapid test for COVID-19, developed COVID-19 symptoms and then died.
With 2,529 new cases reported Friday, the state's total number of confirmed cases is now up to 786,277. Sadly, Georgia reported 187 confirmed deaths on Friday, a new-single day high for deaths. The state death toll now stands at 13,856 since March.
Wynn said East Georgia Regional Medical Center staff on Wednesday were caring for 22 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 3,511 hospitalized on Thursday. Hospitalizations have declined almost every day since Jan. 11.
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 Thursday, hospitalizations had dropped to 74,225. It marked the 30th consecutive day of a decline in hospitalizations.
National case numbers
According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Friday afternoon, 479,949 Americans had died from coronavirus. Also, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 27,464,442 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
The Bulloch County Schools system has reported 32 new cases this week, for a total of 553 COVID cases since classes started on Aug. 17.
Georgia Southern had 80 total cases reported Feb. 1–7 — 69 self-reported and 11 university confirmed cases. GS next reports on new cases on Monday.
East Georgia State College reported no new cases across its three campuses since Monday. The college has had a total of 151 cases across its three campuses since Aug. 17.
Ogeechee Technical College reported two new cases for the week of Feb. 1–7. 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/.