In anticipation of an increase in supply of COVID-19 vaccine and making more people eligible to receive a shot, Georgia has launched a website that will allow online registration for an appointment at one of four sites around the state.
The new website, myvaccinegeorgia.com, allows state residents to pre-register for a vaccine appointment even if they do not yet qualify under the governor’s eligibility criteria. They will be notified once they qualify and scheduled for an appointment at one of the four sites in Macon, Albany, Atlanta or Clarkesville.
Appointments at the Bulloch County Health Department or another public health department in the area must still be made by calling the COVID line – (855) 473-4374. Check with other local providers, including East Georgia Regional Medical Center and other private providers to see if they have vaccine appointments available.
Gov. Brian Kemp said on Thursday he is not yet ready to expand who is eligible in Georgia for the vaccine beyond health-care workers, nursing home residents and staff, first responders and people age 65 and older – but that he may do so in the next couple of weeks.
Georgia is currently receiving shipments of 198,000 vaccine doses per week, up from 120,000 the state was getting in recent weeks. While officials have made a dent in vaccinating people, Kemp stressed demand for shots still lags far behind the state’s current and foreseeable supply.
The supply limits have kept Kemp from adding Georgia school teachers and other staff to the list of vaccine-eligible people, despite loud cries from many teachers particularly in metro Atlanta who have pressed the governor to move them up the line.
Through Friday afternoon, 1,668,605 vaccinations have been administered in Georgia – a total that includes 544,464 second doses, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. In Bulloch County, the Department of Health website indicates 13,213 vaccines have been given out of the 14,100 total doses allocated so far by the state.
The Bulloch County Health Department is accepting new appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, anyone 65 and older is eligible to receive a vaccine along with other groups, including health care workers and law enforcement and rescue personnel.
The only way to schedule an appointment at the Bulloch Health Department is to call (855) 473-4374. Officials asked callers to be patient while on hold to make an appointment.
If an appointment is not available at the Altman St. office in Statesboro, they can schedule an appointment at any of the health departments in the area through the same appointment number.
Bulloch County, state cases
Bulloch County Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said Bulloch reported 17 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and 10 on Friday. Bulloch now has recorded 4,954 total COVID cases, which have resulted in 47 deaths and 190 local residents being hospitalized since the pandemic began in March.
Also, the state Department of Health has reported 39 non-confirmed deaths, which represent Bulloch citizens who received a positive antigen/rapid test for COVID-19, developed COVID-19 symptoms and then died.
Georgia recorded 2,278 cases on Thursday and 2,237 on Friday. The state's total number of confirmed cases is now up to 800,959.
The state reported 173 deaths on Friday and 111 on Thursday. The state death toll now stands at 14,530 since March.
Wynn said East Georgia Regional Medical Center staff on Friday were caring for 13 COVID patients, with four 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 3,117 hospitalized on Thursday. Hospitalizations have declined almost every day since Jan. 11.
Across the United States, cases that require hospitalization have been cut well more than half since hitting a peak on Jan. 6 of 132,474 Americans in the hospital with COVID. On Thursday, hospitalizations had dropped to 62,300. It marked the 37th consecutive day of a decline in hospitalizations.
National case numbers
According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Friday afternoon, 495,015 Americans had died from coronavirus. Also, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 27,950,547 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
The Bulloch County Schools system has reported five new cases this week, and a total of 567 COVID cases since classes started on Aug. 17. Schools were closed all week for Winter Break.
Georgia Southern had 52 total cases reported Feb. 8-14 — 32 self-reported and 20 university confirmed cases. GS reported 80 total cases for the week of Feb. 1-7.
East Georgia State College reported no new cases across its three campuses Tuesday. The college has had a total of 153 cases across its three campuses since Aug. 17.
Ogeechee Technical College reported one new case for the week of Feb. 8–14. Ogeechee Tech has had a total of 64 cases across its campuses since Aug. 17.
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.
To register, visit https://mako.exchange/splash/GAmakotesting/.