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100 new COVID-19 cases reported locally in past week

Due to the area’s low vaccination rates, the COVID-19 pandemic is not subsiding here in Seminole County. In fact the virus is now spreading locally faster than ever. Since last Wednesday Seminole County’s positive case number increased from 991 to 1,091 cases since the pandemic began in March of 2020.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Southwest Georgia and across the country, public health officials at Southwest Health District 8-2 continue to strongly urge those who are unvaccinated to make plans to get their shot(s) now.

As of Wednesday, September 1, and for the fourth week in a row, all fourteen counties in the Southwest Health Distinct remain shaded dark red on the Georgia State Department of Health’s COVID-19 map, indicating counties with the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the state.

Over the past two weeks, Seminole County, with 190 new cases, and counties throughout Southwest Georgia continue to report massive increases in that same time period. Miller County has reported 103 new cases, Decatur County has had 366 new cases, Early County reported 154 additional new cases, and Grady reported 149. 

A glance at vaccination rates in the Southwest Georgia counties shaded dark red on the Georgia Public Health COVID-19 map reveals that every single one is below the state’s average of 42 percent of residents fully vaccinated. 

As of Wednesday, September 1,  36 percent of Seminole County’s eligible residents have been fully vaccinated – an increase of only one percent since last week.  The full vaccination rates for the additional thirteen counties in the 14-county Southwest Health District is as follows: Terrell County 45%; Miller County’s 43%;  Lee County 42%; Thomas County 40%; Early County 39%; Calhoun County 38%; Dougherty County 38%; Decatur County 37%; Mitchell County 36%; Baker County 36%; Grady County 34%; Colquitt County 33%; and Worth County 34%.

The Southwest District Department of Health opened a COVID-19 drive thru testing site at Spring Creek Park, located at 158 West Street in Colquitt last week and the site is open to the public – from any county – from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and preregistration is strongly  encouraged. To register call 1-844-778-2455, register online at honumg.info/LTSGA003, or use the QR Code in the ad on page 4 in this edition.

The Seminole County Health Department and all health departments in the Southwest Public Health District have free COVID-19 vaccines for those 12 and older. Ages 18 and older can choose between the two dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines or the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Children 12 to 17 will receive Pfizer. 

If you have not been vaccinated, schedule yours by calling the Seminole County Health Department at 229-495-6590, or you can schedule yours online at southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org

Educate. Vaccinate. Eliminate. Get the vaccine, not COVID-19.

Top five things to know about 

COVID-19 and Delta Variant

1.) Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalization, and death; it also helps reduce the spread of the virus in communities.

2.) Unvaccinated individuals should get vaccinated and continue masking until they are fully vaccinated.

3.) With the Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever. The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes is happening in places with low vaccination rates.

4.) Data show Delta is different than past versions of the virus: it is much more contagious.

5.) Some vaccinated people can get Delta in a breakthrough infection and may be contagious.

Even so, vaccinated individuals represent a very small amount of transmission occurring around the country.

Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated.

In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends that everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent spread of Delta and protect others.

CDC recommends that community leaders encourage vaccination and masking to prevent further outbreaks in areas of substantial and high transmission.

CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the Fall with layered prevention strategies in place. For more information visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html

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