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Local officials target easing access to vaccine
Food Lion, Food World, Walmart to host clinics Saturday
Licensed practical nurse Yokasta Castro, of Warwick, R.I., draws a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a mass vaccination clinic at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass. Statesboro’s city government is working in partnership with the Bulloch County NAACP and Squashing the Spread Bulloch County to host the free COVID-19 vaccine clinic this Saturday, Sept. 18, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Jones-Love Cultural Center in Luetta Moore Park. - photo by Associated Press

With 10 new COVID-19 cases reported in the past week, the infection rate in Bulloch County remains low. But local officials want people who have chosen, for one reason or another, not to be vaccinated to have easier access to a shot and help reduce a risk of infection even more.

So, the City of Statesboro and Squashing the Spread Bulloch are offering free COVID-19 vaccine pop-up events at local grocery stores on Saturday and June 19 from 9–11 a.m. each day.

The vaccines will be administered by local health providers at no cost. If you have health insurance, your insurer will be billed. Also, people who get a vaccine on either of those days will receive a thank-you gift from local businesses, while supplies last.

The participating grocery stores are: Food Lion — 325 Northside Drive East; Food World — 2949 Northside Drive West; and Walmart — 147 Northside Drive East.

According to the latest figures from the Georgia Department of Public Health, 17,959 Bulloch residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine — 24% — and 15,808 are fully vaccinated — 21%.

While COVID is coming under control despite the low vaccination rates locally and across Georgia, health officials fear that in the fall the virus will see an uptick and may spread more rapidly in states and areas with low rates.

Across the nation, the CDC reports about 171 million Americans have had at least one dose and 140 million are fully vaccinated. Among people 65 years and older, 86% have had one shot, while 76% are fully vaccinated.

The six states that make up the New England region also make up the top six states for having the most fully vaccinated residents. The bottom five states for being fully vaccinated are all in the Deep South. Georgia ranks 43rd with 34% fully vaccinated.  

In addition to the vaccine shots being given at three local grocery stores the next two Saturdays, vaccinations are readily available at area pharmacies, doctors’ offices, the Bulloch County Health Department and East Georgia Regional Medical Center.


COVID cases

The county now has a total of 5,304 confirmed cases since the pandemic began in March 2020. Overall, COVID cases have resulted in a total of 64 confirmed deaths and 228 local residents being hospitalized. There have been no reported deaths from COVID since April 23.

As of Monday, East Georgia Regional Medical Center reported treating four COVID-19 patients, with four on a ventilators.


National cases

According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Monday afternoon, 597,872 Americans had died from coronavirus.

Also on Monday, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 33,373,748 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.


Local colleges

Georgia Southern had one confirmed case and four self-reported cases for May 31–June 6. GS reported one case for the week of May 24–30.

East Georgia State College has reported no new cases since April 18.

Ogeechee Technical College has reported no new cases since the week of April 18.

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