Bulloch County received 4,200 additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine this week and the county continues to buck trends of rising coronavirus cases around the state and the nation.
Though the Georgia Department of Public Health no longer separates how many vaccines have been administered in each county, Bulloch has been allocated 31,470 doses by the state. That total, however, doesn’t include vaccines doses available at the local CVS, Walgreens or Walmart pharmacies.
“I would say any county resident 16 years and older who wants to make a vaccine appointment should be able to get one in a day or two,” said Ted Wynn, the county’s Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency director. “I urge everyone to do just that. The vaccine is readily available, proven safe and effective.”
Meanwhile, Bulloch County recorded only two confirmed new cases of COVID-19 in the past two days – one each on Tuesday and Wednesday. At the same time, the state of Georgia continues to see an average of 1,000 new cases a day and the nation has seen a 20% increase of new cases in the past two weeks, including 62,045 reported on Tuesday.
“The rising numbers I see from Europe worry me,” Wynn said. “The rising numbers from the rest of the country worry me. We are so close. Let’s not go backwards.”
Nonetheless, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported earlier this week that Gov. Brian Kemp is expected to announce his decision to rescind most coronavirus restrictions this week.
Meanwhile, Kemp told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his administration will outline plans to rescind remaining coronavirus restrictions.
Those include capacity limits, restrictions on large-scale gatherings and dozens of safety guidelines for restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and other venues, the newspaper reported.
Earlier this week, President Joe Biden delivered a direct appeal to governors, state and local leaders to reinstate mask-wearing requirements if they have lifted them, and said he encouraged leaders to pause plans to further ease virus-related restrictions.
National death toll
On Wednesday, the CDC reported the U.S. death rate in 2020 increased nearly 16% compared to the previous year. That’s the largest one-year leap since 1918, when U.S. soldier deaths in World War I and the flu pandemic pushed deaths up 46% compared with 1917.
The coronavirus caused approximately 375,000 deaths, and was the third leading cause of death in 2020, after heart disease and cancer. COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now top 550,000 since the start of the pandemic.
According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Wednesday afternoon, 551,817 Americans had died from coronavirus. Also, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 30,447,282 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
Local/state COVID cases
Bulloch did report its 62nd death Wednesday due to COVID-19. Wynn said the victim was a 76-year-old woman with no known previous health conditions.
Bulloch now has a total of 5,154 confirmed cases since the pandemic began in March 2020. The COVID cases have resulted in 62 confirmed deaths and 210 local residents being hospitalized since the pandemic began in March.
Also, the state Department of Health has reported 47 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 1,162 new cases reported on Wednesday and 923 on Tuesday. The state's total number of confirmed cases is now up to 852,395.
The state reported 76 deaths on Wednesday and 13 on Tuesday. Georgia’s death toll now stands at 16,607 since March 2020.
All residents of Bulloch County and the state of Georgia aged 16 and older are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination.
Bulloch residents are urged to contact private providers such as East Georgia Regional Medical Center and local pharmacies directly to see if a vaccine appointment is available. Vaccines also are available at Walgreen’s, CVS and Walmart.
To schedule an appointment at the Bulloch Health Department, call (855) 473-4374. 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
Wynn said East Georgia Regional Medical Center staff on Monday were caring for six COVID patients, with two patients on ventilators.
The Bulloch County Schools system reported no new cases so far this week, and a total of 616 COVID cases since classes started on Aug. 17.
Georgia Southern had 27 total cases reported March 22-28 – 19 self-reported and eight university- confirmed cases. GS reported 18 total cases for the week of March 15-21.
Of the cases reported last week, 17 were on the Statesboro campus, nine on the Armstrong Savannah campus and one on the Liberty campus.
East Georgia State College reported no new cases across its three campuses since March 22. The college has had a total of 157 cases across its three campuses since Aug. 17.
Ogeechee Technical College reported no new cases across its campuses for the week of March 15–21. Ogeechee Tech has had a total of 70 cases across its campuses since Aug. 17.