With plans to expand eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine later this month, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the state would open five additional mass vaccination sites, including two that will be much closer to Bulloch County than the four currently open.
Vaccination sites in Savannah and Sandersville will be added beginning March 17 and people will be able to pre-register at myvaccinegeorgia.com for a vaccine appointment at one of those sites 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.
Currently, mass vaccination sites are open in Macon, Albany, Atlanta and Clarkesville. In addition to Savannah and Sandersville, sites will be ready by March 17 in Columbus, Valdosta and Emerson, Kemp said. While, all Georgia residents may register on the myvacccinegeorgia web site for any of the vaccination sites, officials expect most will want to go to the site closest to where they live.
Local, state vaccinations
As of Friday afternoon, Bulloch County has received 19,400 total doses and administered 17,400 COVID-19 vaccines since they became available in late December, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Of those shots, 6,904 are second doses, which means that many are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Through Friday afternoon, 2,286,514 vaccinations have been administered in Georgia – a total that includes 903,104 second doses, according to the Department of Public Health.
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.
Bulloch County, state cases
Bulloch County Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said Bulloch suffered its 51st confirmed death Friday. Wynn said the victim was a 56-year-old man with previous medical conditions.
The Department of Public Health reported seven new COVID-19 cases on Friday and eight on Thursday. Bulloch now has recorded 5,086 total COVID cases, which have resulted in 51 confirmed deaths and 205 local residents being hospitalized since the pandemic began in March 2020.
Also, the Georgia DPH is reporting 43 non-confirmed deaths that represent Bulloch citizens who received a positive antigen/rapid test for COVID-19, developed COVID-19 symptoms and later died.
Georgia recorded 1,413 cases on Friday and 1,865 on Thursday. The state’s total number of confirmed cases is now up to 826,117.
The state reported 69 confirmed deaths on Friday and 112 on Thursday. The state death toll now stands at 15,526 since March 2020.
Wynn said East Georgia Regional Medical Center staff on Friday were caring for 11 COVID patients, with three patients on ventilators.
COVID cases that require hospitalization continue to see a strong decline in Georgia. After setting a single-day high Jan. 13 with 6,108 state residents hospitalized, that number dropped to 2,191 hospitalized on Thursday.
Across the United States, cases that require hospitalization have dropped significantly since hitting a peak on Jan. 6 of 132,474 Americans in the hospital with COVID. On Thursday, hospitalizations had dropped to 44,172. It marked the 51st consecutive day of a decline in hospitalizations.
National case numbers
According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Wednesday afternoon, 522,221 Americans had died from coronavirus. Also, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 28,873,800 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
The Bulloch County Schools system reported seven new cases so far this week, and a total of 599 COVID cases since classes started on Aug. 17.
For the third week in a row, Georgia Southern University saw a big drop in new cases last week.
Georgia Southern had 21 total cases reported Feb. 22-28 — 17 self-reported and four university confirmed cases. GS reported 34 total cases for the week of Feb. 15-21.
East Georgia State College reported one new case across its three campuses last Saturday. It was the first new case since Feb. 15. The college has had a total of 153 cases across its three campuses since Aug. 17.
Ogeechee Technical College reported no new cases for the week of Feb. 22–28. Ogeechee Tech has had a total of 67 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/.