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State ‘pauses’ setting vaccine appointments
Supplies tight; Bulloch suffers 2 more probable deaths
In this file photo, Pharmacist Kevin Corbin fills a syringe with the COVID-19 vaccine during the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga. According to the latest statistics, vaccinations for Georgia hospital workers are lagging. - photo by Associated Press

A lack of adequate supply is forcing public health departments and other providers across Georgia to “pause” setting appointments for people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Bulloch County Health Department announced last week that it would no longer schedule vaccine appointments, but encouraged residents to check with health departments in other nearby counties. But no appointments are currently being scheduled at any Georgia health departments for the time being.

According to the Georgia Department of Health, about 924,000 total vaccines have been administered to approximately 750,000 individuals, or a little more than 7% of the state’s population. The total number of shots given includes about 120,000 people who have received their second dose, which gives people the highest protection against contracting COVID-19.

Similar to the rest of the state, the 13 Bulloch County providers listed as qualified by the Department of Health to receive and administer vaccines have not received any additional vaccine doses in about a week.

So far, the local providers have requested 25,200 vaccine doses, and they have been allocated 7,900 by the state. 

Also, Capitol Beat News Service reported that 19 cases of a highly contagious COVID-19 variant originating from Europe were identified in metro Atlanta, state public-health officials confirmed Monday.

Early studies suggest the COVID-19 variant is “significantly more contagious” than the original coronavirus strain that sparked a global pandemic last March, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Georgia is among 30 states reporting cases of the variant so far. It has infected Georgians from ages 15 to 61, DPH said in a news release.

Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna have stressed that their COVID-19 vaccines “appear to work” against the variant, according to DPH.


Bulloch County, state cases

After four confirmed and five probable deaths due to COVID-19 in the previous seven days, Bulloch County reported two more likely deaths over the weekend. However, the five new coronavirus cases reported Monday were the fewest in a single day since Dec. 15.

Bulloch County Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said Bulloch reported 60 new cases since Friday — 41 on Saturday, 14 Sunday and the five cases on Monday. Bulloch now has recorded 4,602 total COVID cases, which have resulted in 46 deaths and 180 local residents being hospitalized since the pandemic began in March.

The state Department of Health is reporting an additional two deaths in Bulloch on Saturday probably were caused by COVID. According to the Georgia DPH, the 32 non-confirmed deaths represent Bulloch citizens who received a positive antigen/rapid test for COVID-19, developed COVID-19 symptoms and subsequently died. 

Georgia recorded 4,932 new cases on Saturday, 3,021 on Sunday and 2,587 on Monday. The state's total number of confirmed cases is now up to 752,448, an increase of 30,386 cases in the past week.

After 719 Georgians had died in the previous five days, the state’s toll slowed down on Sunday and Monday, with only two deaths reported Sunday and 44 on Monday. The state death toll now stands at 12,613 since March.



Wynn said East Georgia Regional Medical Center staff on Monday were caring for 27 COVID patients, with seven 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 4,476 hospitalized on Sunday. It marked the 12th consecutive day of a decline in hospitalizations.

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 Sunday, hospitalizations had dropped to 95,013. It marked the 19th consecutive day of a decline in hospitalizations and the first day under 100,000 Americans hospitalized since Dec. 1.



Currently, anyone 65 and older is eligible to receive a vaccine along with other groups, including health care workers, law enforcement and rescue personnel.

East Georgia Regional Medical Center is scheduling a limited number of appointments to receive a vaccine. Call (912) 486-1811 to schedule an appointment.

The Bulloch Health Department has no vaccine appointments available. It is not known when appointment scheduling will begin again.


National case numbers

According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Monday afternoon, 442,710 Americans had died from coronavirus — 22,271 in the past week, but a 50% decline from the previous week. Also, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 26,278,706 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, an increase of 1.05 million since last Monday.


Bulloch Schools

The Bulloch County Schools system has reported nine new cases this week, for a total of 491 COVID cases since classes started on Aug. 17. Since classes resumed following the Christmas break, the number of confirmed COVID cases has increased for four consecutive weeks, including a record 78 cases last week. The school system has recorded 248 confirmed cases since Jan. 3.


Local colleges

Georgia Southern University saw a slight increase in new cases this past week, after declining each of the previous two weeks.

Georgia Southern had 76 total cases reported Jan. 25–31 — 60 self-reported and 16 university confirmed cases. GS reported 70 total cases for the week of Jan. 18-24.

The 76 new coronavirus cases include 65 on the Statesboro campus, 10 on the Armstrong-Savannah campus and one on the Liberty campus in Hinesville.

East Georgia State College reported two new cases on its three campuses since Thursday. The college has had a total of 147 cases across its three campuses since Aug. 17.

Ogeechee Technical College reported four new cases for the week of Jan. 25–31. The new cases include three students on the Statesboro campus. Ogeechee Tech has had a total of 61 cases across its campuses since Aug. 17.  


Testing sites

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.

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