Despite COVID-19 lull, public health officials still urging people to get vaccinated

The graphic on the Department of Public Health website shows a drop in the number of new cases since January and February, when vaccination programs rolled out in Georgia.

The number of people hospitalized as a result of a COVID-19 infection locally has been at an all time low since late last week.

The COVID-19 patient census has remained in the single digits since June 4. Floyd Medical Center reported four COVID-19 patients and Redmond Regional Medical Center only one as of Thursday.

There’s no question that there has been a stark drop in new infections with vaccine rollouts across the state, and that’s evident in Floyd County as well.

According to Georgia Department of Public Health records, there have been 46 new COVID-19 infections reported in the past two weeks, down from highs of 500 to 600 new cases in the same time period late last year.

A massive spike in cases through the holidays began to take a sharp decline as vaccination efforts gained steam. At this point 28% of Floyd County residents are fully vaccinated and 31% have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

That’s higher than many surrounding counties but still below the state average of 35%, according to public health data.

Public health officials are urging people not to relax their guard as a small number of cases of the “delta” variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Georgia.

The delta variant, known also as B.1.617.2, was first detected in India in 2020. Public Health spokesperson Nancy Nydam told the Marietta Daily Journal a small number of delta variant cases have been present in Georgia for several weeks.

“Vaccination is critical to stopping the spread of COVID and decreasing the number of variants that emerge. People who are unvaccinated or skip their second dose of vaccine are targets for infection,” Nydam said.

Overview

According to Georgia Department of Public Health records:

Since the beginning of the pandemic over 12,000 local residents, approximately 12% of Floyd County’s population, have tested positive for COVID-19 at one point or another.

Of that number, 890 have been hospitalized and 193 people have died from the disease.

Another 43 people are suspected to have died as a result of the disease.

Regionally, many nearby counties fared much the same as Floyd County did. While the first known outbreak in Northwest Georgia was tracked to a church gathering in Bartow County, the county fared much the same as Floyd.

With a similar population, Bartow had approximately 14,000 confirmed cases along with 842 hospitalizations and 218 deaths from COVID-19.

On top of that, there are 12 additional deaths that are suspected to have been caused by the disease, reports stated.

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