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Local hospitalizations down, but COVID still on the rise
Bulloch total cases now at 1,032
COVID testing

Although there was a slight drop in the number of COVID-19 patients at East Georgia Regional Medical Center, the number of Bulloch County residents testing positive for the virus rose by 30 in one day, reaching 1,032 Thursday.

The hospital reported 19 COVID-19 patients Thursday, with eight on ventilators, said Bulloch County Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn. The patients may or may not be Bulloch residents, and could be from surrounding areas, he said. East Georgia has treated as many as 26 admitted patients and as many as 12 on ventilators at one time, according to reports.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 76 hospitalizations and 11 deaths of Bulloch County residents, with Bulloch EMS transporting 76 patients with “probable” cases and 51 with confirmed COVID-19, he said.

Statewide, Georgia reported 4,045 additional COVID cases Thursday and now has a total of 182,286 cases. Also, the state death toll increased by 30 Thursday, for a total of 3,671 total deaths. On Thursday, 339 additional Georgians were hospitalized, bringing the total to 18,303 hospitalizations.

In the United States, 151,974 deaths and 4,472,800 total cases had been reported as of 2 p.m. Thursday.

Wynn continues to urge people to wear a mask if they are able, to keep up with social distancing (stay six feet apart) and either wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer, to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

If you feel you may have been exposed to the virus or if you think you might have contracted it, do not go to the emergency room, he said.

“If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.”

Some symptoms are coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, fever, and loss of sense of smell and taste.

Free COVID-19 testing is held at the SPOC (Specimen Point of Collection) located at 1 West Altman Street in Statesboro. If you would like to be tested for free, please call (855) 473-4374 for an appointment or schedule your test online at https://www.sehdph.org/covid-19/

Reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at 912-489-9414.