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Number of vaccinated local residents nears one thousand

Schedule your vaccination by calling 229-352-6567

The daily local COVID-19 case count increase is posted on the Donalsonville News Facebook page

With Phase 1A of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution ongoing, the Seminole County Health Department is approaching 1,000 doses of the vaccine administered to Phase 1A candidates as of 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 2. Since the vaccine was first made available, Penny Horne, RN, County Nurse Manager at the Seminole County Department of Health reported 950 doses had been administered locally to health care workers, first responders, and residents 65 years and older. Horne said the majority of the county’s allotment of the vaccine has been given to residents 65 years and older.

Residents meeting the phase 1A requirements, healthcare workers, first responders and residents 65 years and older must have an appointment to receive the vaccination.  Appointments can be made by calling 229-352-6567.

Until quantities of the vaccine are available for all citizens, local health authorities continue to implore everyone to continue with the COVID-19 safety precautions.

As of presstime on Wednesday, February 3, the daily rate of increase of local positive COVID-19 cases has slowed dramatically in the past seven days. January 2021 had the largest local positive case increase of any month since the pandemic began, with 112 positive COVID-19 cases and two deaths. However, this past week, from January 27 to February 3, the rate of increase locally has slowed considerably. Six positive cases were reported in that time period, and only one positive case has been reported so far in the month of February.

Since the pandemic began last March, Seminole County has been recorded with 677 positive  cases, fourteen of which, sadly, have resulted in Coronavirus related deaths. Those numbers are based on positive results from a Molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

If you add in the local positive antigen test number of 176, and one probable death, which the State Health Department is now reporting in its daily update, Seminole County’s positive case numbers explode to 853 positive cases and 15 deaths since March of 2020.

Molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and antigen tests are used to diagnose COVID-19, meaning that they look to see if someone is currently infected with COVID-19. Each test looks for something different to determine if someone is infected. A molecular (PCR) test looks for the virus’s genetic material. An antigen test is a rapid test that looks for specific proteins on the surface of the virus. Where the test is processed may also differ. Molecular (PCR) tests are processed in a laboratory. Antigen tests are often processed at the point of care, such as in a health care provider’s office.

The nose swab PCR test for COVID-19 is the most accurate and reliable test for diagnosing COVID-19. 

As of Wednesday, February 3, since March 2020, there have been 755,412 cases of COVID-19 statewide – out of 6,960,738 people tested – and 12,772 deaths reported to state health officials. Since this time last week, 215,242 additional Georgia residents have been tested, with 27,660 of them testing positive for COVID-19. During that same time period, the state’s COVID-19 related death total increased 853.

These numbers represent confirmed cases only, defined as an individual with a positive molecular test. Only molecular test results, reported through multiple sources, are used by the Georgia Department of Health in identifying confirmed cases. 

As of this week the total reported number of positive antigen test results state wide was 162,028 cases, with 1,678 probable deaths. Only antigen test results are used in identifying these cases. 

The antigen test related probable death number includes individuals who wereantigen positive or individuals with compatible illness and known close contact to a case that were either reported to DPH as deceased by healthcare providers or medical examiners/coroners, identified by death certificates with COVID-19 indicated as the cause of death, or there is evidence that COVID contributed to the individual’s death OR individuals with a death certificate that has COVID-19 indicated as the cause of death and there is no laboratory evidence for SARS-CoV-2.

Local medical experts continue to implore everyone to do their part in helping to stop the spread of the virus by practicing the uniform wearing of masks, the physical distancing and the avoiding of congregate settings in crowds, particularly indoors, and get vaccinated when the vaccine becomes available to you. 

The vaccine, experts say, is, “not a substitute for the normal, standard public health measures of wearing a mask, keeping your distance, avoiding congregate crowded sections, and particularly indoors. It’s not a substitute, it complements it.”

Ms. Horne confirms that ALL numbers reported daily on the District and State’s Public Health Department websites  DO NOT include double counted positive cases. Each person is counted only once, even if they have had several positive tests. The confirmed positive case number for Seminole County IS NOT a total of the number of ACTIVE local cases, but rather, a cumulative total of individuals testing positive in Seminole County since the pandemic began last March.

The number of active, or recovered cases is not reported by the Georgia State Department of Health, and all numbers are reported under the person’s county of residence.

Keep doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask in public, washing hands regularly, staying six feet apart smart, staying home if you are symptomatic, and taking the vaccine when it  becomes available to you.

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