While Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown is under quarantine for COVID-19, the Bulloch County Jail inmate population has avoided the virus so far.
Only one other sheriff’s employee has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, said Bulloch County Chief Deputy Bill Black.
Brown was not available for comment Tuesday, but Black and Capt. Todd Hutchens confirmed the sheriff and his wife Laura are under quarantine. He said Brown is expected to return to work Monday.
“He is resting and recovering well,” Hutchens said.
Black said the jail is following strict COVID-19 guidelines, isolating newly-arrived inmates away from general population for a specific time. If an inmate remains healthy, he or she will join the general population. If an inmate shows signs of illness, they are placed in a separate pod designed for that purpose, he said.
Also, Bulloch County Commission Chairman Roy Thompson is observing quarantine mandates, although he has not tested positive for COVID-19. His wife Deborah, however, did test positive and is still under quarantine.
Thompson, a strong advocate for following Center for Disease Control guidelines, chose to sequester himself, as well, since he has been exposed to a person with the virus.
This is a precaution to protect others, he said. “Deborah is living upstairs and I am living downstairs. She is recovering well, but still pretty weak.”
The Thompsons wear masks and socially distance in public, “but you can wear a mask and still get it,” he said. The CDC states wearing masks helps prevent inadvertent spreading of the virus,
In his daily report to the public, Bulloch County Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said Bulloch added 33 cases Tuesday and now has 2,472 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March. The county has seen an increase of 858 cases since Aug. 28.
Wynn said East Georgia Regional Medical Center staff were caring for 23 patients Tuesday. Five patients are on ventilators.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Bulloch County has reported 124 hospitalizations and 22 deaths. Bulloch EMS has transported a total of 106 people with probable COVID-19 and 114 with confirmed cases, he said.
Bulloch County Schools reported Tuesday that there have been 56 COVID-19 positive cases within its student and faculty body — public schools only — with 526 quarantined.
Georgia Southern University, which reports weekly, listed 351 cases, including both university-confirmed and self-reported, on the Statesboro campus this week among its students and faculty. COVID-19 cases now total 942 — 654 self-reported and 288 university confirmed — since the university resumed in-person classes on Aug. 17. Of the 942 cases, 899 are on the Statesboro campus. The next report is expected to be released next Monday.
At East Georgia State College, officials reported 20 cases, both confirmed and self-reported, on the Statesboro campus and 49 cases overall on its three campuses, as of Monday.
Ogeechee Technical College is reporting cases weekly and had 18 confirmed cases as of Monday – 16 students and two employees, all on the Bulloch County campus.
On Tuesday, Georgia reported 1,595 new COVID cases, after recording a three-month, single-day low of 612 cases on Monday. Georgia's total number of confirmed cases is 285,350. The state reported 26 deaths Tuesday, raising the death toll to 6,070.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 189,340 Americans have died from coronavirus, and the U.S. has recorded 6,336,300 confirmed cases, according to statistics from the New York Times.
Appointments for free COVID testing at the Specimen Point of Collection site at 1 W. Altman St. in Statesboro may be made by calling (855) 473-4374 or by visiting www.sehdph.org/covid-19/.