The New York Time (NYT) Coronavirus outbreak monitor listed Statesboro today as the 8th highest city in the United States where new cases are rising the fastest on a population-adjusted basis. Milledgeville, Georgia, home to Georgia College, is number five on the list. Georgia College is reporting on a daily basis, and since the first day of classes they reported 490 new cases of positive staff and students.
Georgia Southern is only reporting on a weekly basis. Ogeechee Technical College and East Georgia State College, also with campuses in Bulloch County do not have public reporting data available on their websites. Bulloch Schools are reporting on a daily basis with detailed information by school.
Statesboro is also ranked number 13 on where the outbreak is the worst now. Milledgeville is number five.
These rankings do NOT include today’s report from the Georgia DPH which reported 123 new cases in Bulloch County.
National Guard Strike Team Needed
For the past two weeks, we have been reporting about the difficulty in getting a COVID-19 test in Bulloch County. Due to the surge in cases, the DPH testing site has been overwhelmed, as has the Georgia Southern Health Center, local urgent cares, medical clinics and doctors offices.
Patients are reporting that they either can’t get a timely appointment or the testing centers are out of test kits and supplies.
Dr. Frank Davis Pleads With Officials to Get Help NOW and Improve Data Transparency
Grice Connect Medical Advisor Dr. Frank Davis, a retired trauma surgeon at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah and Medical Director of Chatham EMS, is making an urgent plea to local officials to make a formal request for the National Guard Strike Team to respond and set up surge testing capacity.
Dr. Davis is also suggesting Georgia Southern leadership consider releasing positive case data on a daily basis. In addition he is asking for DPH, either at a regional or state level, to evaluate the demographic / cluster data to provide guidance to local leaders as soon as practical. It is difficult to improve what you can not measure (or don’t have data access)
“As the recent Medical Director for Chatham County EMS, I have been very involved in the planning and management of COVID-19 in Savannah. The Coastal Health district has been very forthcoming with data and demographic information released daily for the entire district. Because of this, and other leaked reports from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, we know the data they are capable of releasing”, said Dr. Davis.
“For DPH and the Governor’s office to not release critical information restricts local leadership’s ability to properly manage COVID-19. That would be like a critical care trauma patient presented in my Emergency Department and my team performing immediate, critical tests that allow the trauma team to make quick, evidence- based decisions to save the patient’s life. However, instead of access to tests, non-medical trained managers refuse access to the reports. So I have to guess, based on past experience, the best path forward. This would not be in the patient’s best interest. I urge Statesboro and Bulloch County leaders and citizens of Bulloch and surrounding counties who continue to see surges, to request DPH and the Governor for data transparency and guidance so we have the best chances for disease mitigation and saving lives. At the very least, ask the State of Georgia to share expert medical recommendations like the White House Coronavirus task force report with local leaders, especially in Statesboro and Bulloch County. Collective wisdom almost always generates the best solution.”