For the third day in a row, no COVID-19 patients at East Georgia Regional Medical Center were on ventilators, but for the first time in six weeks, new daily coronavirus cases in Bulloch County hit double digits.
Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn delivered the good news/bad news in his daily COVID report Friday afternoon.
Bulloch County has seen a downward trend in new COVID-19 cases since February and was seeing an average of fewer than five cases per day in the past month. But on Friday, Wynn said the Georgia Department of Public Health reported 10 new confirmed COVID cases in Bulloch. It was the first time since March 2 the county had more than nine daily cases.
Wynn said the 10 new cases on Friday went with three on Thursday and the county now has a total of 5,208 confirmed cases since the pandemic began in March 2020. Overall, the COVID cases have resulted in 63 confirmed deaths and 214 local residents being hospitalized since the pandemic began in March.
Also, the state Department of Health has reported 48 non-confirmed deaths, which represent Bulloch citizens who received a positive antigen/ rapid test for COVID-19, developed COVID-19 symptoms and then died.
Across the state, there were 1,101 new cases on Thursday and 1,199 on Friday. The state's total number of confirmed cases is now up to 866,978.
The state reported 60 deaths on Thursday and 51 on Friday. Georgia’s death toll now stands at 17,180 since March 2020.
The vaccination rate continues to lag in Bulloch County with only an additional 57 residents receiving their first vaccine since Wednesday. Overall, 12,919 residents have received at least one dose, or 17% of the population.
In counties surrounding Bulloch, according to the Department of Health, Bryan County has the highest percentage of vaccinated residents with 23%. Candler and Screven counties are at 22%, with Evans at 21%. Jenkins and Emanuel counties are tied with Bulloch at 17% and Effingham County is lowest at 16%.
Around Georgia, the two counties with the highest vaccination rate are on the North Carolina border — Union County is at 31% and Towns County leads the state at 35%.
Georgia is one of five states where fewer than 40% of residents have received at least one dose. Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee are the other four. New Hampshire leads the nation with 65% of the population receiving at least one dose, followed closely by Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine and New Mexico.
All residents of Bulloch County and the state of Georgia aged 16 and older are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination.
Bulloch residents are urged to contact private providers such as East Georgia Regional Medical Center and local pharmacies directly to make a vaccine appointment. Vaccines also are available at Walgreen’s, CVS and Walmart.
To schedule an appointment at the Bulloch Health Department, call (855) 473-4374. If an appointment is not available at the Altman Street office in Statesboro, they can schedule an appointment at any of the health departments in the area through the same appointment number
According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Friday afternoon, 565,986 Americans had died from coronavirus. Also, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 31,556,889 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
Wynn said East Georgia Regional Medical Center staff on Friday were caring for two COVID patients, with no patients on a ventilator.
The Bulloch County Schools system has had three new cases so far this week. A total of 627 COVID cases have been reported since classes started on Aug. 17. Since the beginning of March, the system has reported a total of only 35 new cases.
Georgia Southern had 17 total cases reported April 5–11 — 14 self-reported and three university-confirmed cases. GS reported 12 total cases for the week of March 29-April 4.
East Georgia State College reported one new case on its Swainsboro campus on Saturday. It was the first new case on any of its three campuses since March 22. The college has had a total of 158 cases across its three campuses since Aug. 17.
Ogeechee Technical College has not reported any new COVID cases since the week of March 8–14. Ogeechee Tech has had a total of 70 cases across its campuses since Aug. 17.