After seeing 15 COVID-19 patients admitted on Wednesday, East Georgia Regional Medical Center was treating 73 people – the most coronavirus patients by a dozen ever in the hospital at one time.
“The number of COVID patients today at EGRMC, and the number of COVID transports EMS is handling (Wednesday) is very concerning,” said Ted Wynn, director of Bulloch County’s Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency. “The number of deaths is rising also. We are heading into something that may be unsustainable.”
The number dipped slightly on Friday. Wynn said 68 are hospitalized, with 15 on ventilators, down from 18 on Thursday.
“While the hospital and all our health care and EMS workers have done a remarkable job, the sheer numbers are becoming overwhelming. We can do better as a community and squash this spread,” he said. “Get the vaccine; watch your distance, and wash your hands; wear a mask when in close contact with people and indoors.
“You or a loved one’s life may depend on it.”
The Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed one Bulloch County resident died due to COVID-19 on Thursday.
Bulloch recorded 92 confirmed cases on Thursday and 73 on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 6,955. Health Department statistics show Bulloch has recorded 1,709 new COVID cases since July 7 and eight deaths.
On Wednesday, East Georgia Regional Medical Center reported 58 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, a small drop from 61 on Monday. There were 18 patients on ventilators Wednesday afternoon.
Dr. Carlos del Rio, a leading epidemiologist at Emory University, said while vaccines are the best defense against COVID-19, including the delta variant, people still need to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands frequently.
“People are very tired. I understand that,” he said. “We all want this to be over. [But] it’s not going to be over when we want.”
Small vaccine incentive
As a vaccine incentive, Krispy Kreme, which has a store in Statesboro on Northside Drive next to Taco Bell, will give away two free doughnuts per day from Aug. 30 through Sept. 5 to anyone who brings proof of being vaccinated. The chain will then revert back to one free doughnut per day through the end of the year after Sept. 5.
In order to qualify, customers have to show their vaccination card. Anyone who has received at least one shot of the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines is eligible.
Vaccines are readily available at area pharmacies, doctors’ offices and the Bulloch County Health Department.
Georgia, national cases
The Department of Health reported 16,319 confirmed cases in Georgia for Thursday and Friday combined, including 8,403 on Friday. On July 6, the state was averaging 311 new cases per day. Also, 146 confirmed deaths were recorded for Thursday and Friday, bringing the state’s toll since the pandemic began to 19,510 confirmed deaths. On July 6, Georgia was averaging eight COVID deaths per day.
On July 6, new cases around the U.S. were averaging about 13,500 per day. New cases are now averaging about 156,000 per day, up 4,000 alone since Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Also, on July 6, the U.S. was averaging 188 deaths from COVID per day. As of Friday, an average of 1,233 deaths per day are due to COVID.
The MAKO Medical site on Railroad St. in downtown Statesboro administered a Bulloch record 1,734 COVID tests for the week of Aug. 16-22. Also, a record 3,026 tests were administered in the Southeast Health District, which includes Bulloch, for Aug. 16-22.
And those are just the tests administered by the Public Health Department.
MAKO offers testing services Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on the last Saturday of each month, which will be this Saturday, Aug. 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
MAKO will ask for insurance, but patients without insurance will not have to pay anything for testing. Results are available in two to three days.