With no deaths from COVID-19 being reported in Bulloch County since Friday and the average number of new local cases seeing a downturn, local officials are hopeful the third surge of the coronavirus may have reached its peak.
“The numbers are showing some signs of improvement, but still too high and recent deaths are very concerning,” said Ted Wynn, Bulloch’s Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency director. “Be safe and remain vigilant in protecting yourself and your family members.”
After averaging 63 news cases reported per day last week, new cases are averaging 30 per day this week, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Also, no new deaths have been reported this week, following seven local deaths last week and 14 since Aug. 10.
Bulloch County has now had 7,580 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March 2020 and 77 total confirmed deaths, according to the Department of Health.
Local hospitalizations remain near pandemic highs, with 65 at East Georgia Regional Medical Center and 18 on ventilators as of Wednesday, Wynn said.
Hospitalizations also remain high around the state, with 497 new COVID patients reported Wednesday pushing Georgia to a record 6,485 people hospitalized.
Meanwhile, new cases reported at Georgia Southern University and in Bulloch County Schools dropped significantly for the second consecutive week.
Confirmed and self-reported cases at Georgia Southern have dropped from 434 across its three campuses the week of Aug. 16-22, to 116 for the most recent week – Aug. 30-Sept. 5.
Reported cases at Bulloch County schools have dropped from 474 for the week of Aug. 15-21 to 118 for Aug. 29-Sept. 5.
The CDC reports COVID-19 is spreading fastest in areas with low vaccination rates. Currently, only 44% of Georgians are fully vaccinated. In Bulloch County, only 29% of residents are fully vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in the state.
"Ninety seven percent of COVID deaths since we've had vaccine are in unvaccinated individuals. These deaths are preventable," said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner.
New cases around the U.S. are now averaging about 152,000 per day, according to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, along with an average of 1,560 deaths per day due to COVID. Both average cases and deaths are down slightly compared to last week.