As local efforts increase to encourage folks to get a COVID-19 vaccination, even Statesboro’s professional soccer team is taking part. At Saturday night’s 2021 season-opening game for Tormenta FC at Erk Russell Park, 34 fans received a vaccine.
For the mini-vaccine clinic, Tormenta partnered with Forest Heights Pharmacy and pharmacy owner Ben Ross and some of his staff were on hand Saturday to administer the shots.
“Doing our part for a healthy Georgia and giving our fans a chance to be vaccinated seemed like the easiest of decisions,” said Darin Van Tassell, team president and co-owner. “Being the first professional sports team to host a vaccine clinic during an actual game is precisely the kind of first we seek to be a part of.”
While the Centers for Disease Control announced Sunday that half of all Americans ages 18 and older – about 130 million – have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, only 51 shots were given in Bulloch County since Friday. Bulloch ranks near the bottom of Georgia’s 159 counties with only 17 percent of residents having received at least one vaccination as of Monday, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The Associated Press reported that the U.S. cleared the 50% mark just a day after the reported global death toll from the coronavirus topped a staggering 3 million, according to totals compiled by Johns Hopkins University, though the actual number is believed to be significantly higher.
Monday marked the day the Biden Administration set as the final day for all states to make all adults eligible for the vaccine.
Overall, willingness to get vaccinated has risen, polling shows. In January, 67% of adult Americans were willing to get vaccinated or had already received at least one shot. The figure has climbed to 75%, according to the latest AP-NORC poll.
Nationwide, 24% of Black Americans and 22% of Hispanic Americans say they will probably or definitely not get vaccinated, down from 41% and 34% in January, respectively. Among white Americans, 26% now say they will not get vaccinated. In January, that number was 31%.
Vaccine appointments are readily available at more than two dozen locations across Bulloch County, including pharmacies, East Georgia Regional Medical Center, local doctors’ offices and the Bulloch Health Department.
Local, state COVID cases
For the sixth day in a row, no COVID-19 patients at East Georgia Regional Medical Center were on ventilators. Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said the hospital was treating five COVID patients, but none needed a ventilator.
After reporting 10 new cases on Friday, Bulloch had eight new cases combined since Friday, with two on Saturday and three each on Sunday and Monday. The county now has a total of 5,216 confirmed cases since the pandemic began in March 2020. Overall, the COVID cases have resulted in 63 confirmed deaths and 213 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 725 new cases on Monday, 713 on Sunday and 1,216 on Saturday. The state's total number of confirmed cases is now up to 869,590.
The state reported 27 deaths on Monday, none on Sunday and 34 on Saturday. Georgia’s death toll now stands at 17,241 since March 2020.
According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Monday afternoon, 567,557 Americans had died from coronavirus. Also, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 31,717,631 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
The Bulloch County Schools system had three new cases last week. A total of 628 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 12 total cases reported April 12–18 — 11 self-reported and one university-confirmed cases. GS reported 17 total cases for the week of April 5-11.
East Georgia State College reported one new case on its Statesboro campus on Sunday. The college has had a total of 159 cases across its three campuses since Aug. 17.
Ogeechee Technical College reported one new case the week of April 5-11 and one new case for the week of April 12-18 – both on the Bulloch campus. Ogeechee Tech has had a total of 72 cases across its campuses since Aug. 17.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.