News Flash folks – COVID IS REAL. Today, Grice Connect was attacked for the 27,599th time on social media regarding our “daily negativity report spreading lies about a hoax virus that will soon just disappear”. Normally, I just ignore this. But this person should know better. They are well educated and they also own a successful business. It dawned on me after talking with this person that somehow this person does not know anyone who has been critically ill with COVID or died. Starting today, I hope to change that.
I have stopped mindlessly scrolling through the pages of Facebook. Mainly because it seems every other post is about someone we know asking for prayers for a family member or loved one fighting COVID. How anyone can say, at this point, they don’t know anyone affected by COVID is shocking to us. But obviously it is happening.
These Numbers Represent REAL People In Our Community
Lori and I have personally invested in Grice Connect and this daily report to provide factual, accurate, timely data regarding the seriousness of COVID. We don’t editorialize it. We provide just the facts. Our prayer is that some of you reading the daily report will take it seriously and take precautions that could save your life or the life of a friend or loved one. 82 Bulloch County families’ lives have forever been changed, because of the loss of a loved one to COVID. Countless others, who have beat COVID are still struggling with the long term, sometimes even debilitating, impacts of this awful virus.
Nearly one year into this pandemic, there is no reason our hospital should be FULL along with businesses and churches closing due to COVID outbreaks. There is no reason for anyone to doubt this virus is real and not be taking basic precautions to protect themselves and others. But sadly, it is happening daily.
This SNL skit wouldn’t be funny if it wasn’t so real and true. We have all experienced folks who are “doing everything right” and are SO shocked when they get COVID.
Stop Just Praying and STEP UP NOW
Daily we hear stories of friends and family members who are fighting for their lives, trying to beat COVID. Please reach out to family members who have loved ones struggling with COVID and do something for them. They need more than your prayers. The need your support and help.
If you don’t have COVID and have not lost a friend or family member, count your blessings. More importantly, be thankful for your blessing by helping someone who needs you now. Cook them a meal, send them a gift card, offer to help in other ways, but PLEASE do more than just pray and comment on social media.
Starting today, we will pick a story from our news feed and feature it here and ask for you to reach out and help these wonderful families. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want us to share your story, a story of a friend or family member.
Bulloch County Citizen Fighting COVID NOW
Matt Rogers is a Flight Nurse and Flight Paramedic with Air Evac based in Statesboro. He has devoted his life to helping members of our community when we are in our greatest need. Now Matt is at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah fighting COVID and he needs our help. His wife Renee teaches at Southeast Bulloch and has beat cancer. They understand how precious life can be. Do what you can to help this wonderful family.
I just talked to the nurse case manager at Memorial ICU. He is doing well this morning. He is stable. Blood pressure…Posted by Renee Tuten Rogers on Saturday, February 6, 2021
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Providers are asking for citizens who who need a second dose to PLEASE NOT CALL providers unless you are within THREE days of your vaccines second dose timeline. For Moderna the minimum is 28 days from first dose and for Pfizer the minimum is 21 days after your first dose. Vaccines & supplies are increasing and there should be plenty for everyone to receive their second dose.
BULLOCH VACCINE LOCATIONS:
- Bulloch County Health Department – CALL (855) 473-4374
- EGRMC – CALL 912-486-1811
- East Georgia Healthcare Center – Call (478) 299-8444
- Forest Heights Pharmacy – CALL 912-489-7979
- McCook’s Pharmacy – CALL – (912) 764-2223
- Nightingale Infusion – FIRST DOSE ONLINE FORM – SECOND DOSE email@example.com
- Southern Family Medicine – (912) 290-5235
- The Prescription Shop – CALL (912) 764-6454
- Total Health – CALL (912) 871-7890 or EMAIL Ambassador@statesborototalhealth.com
- Vaccine Locations Source: https://dph.georgia.gov/locations/covid-vaccination-site
- DO NOT WALK INTO PROVIDERS EXPECTING A VACCINE
- YOU MUST HAVE AN APPOINTMENT TO GET VACCINATED
- DO NOT CALL PROVIDERS TO SCHEDULE A SECOND VACCINE APPOINTMENT. THE PROVIDER WILL CALL YOU TO SCHEDULE YOUR SECOND DOSE APPOINTMENT
- CONTACT PROVIDERS ONLY IF YOU ARE WITHIN 3 DAYS OF YOUR VACCINES SECOND DOSE DUE DATE AND HAVE NOT HEARD FROM THE PROVIDER
- PHIZER DUE DATE IS A MINIMUM OF 21 DAYS FROM YOUR FIRST DOSE AND
- MODERNA DUE DATE IS RECOMMENDED A MINIMUM OF 28 DAYS FOR THE SECOND DOSE
- SUPPLIES ARE INCREASING – PLEASE BE PATIENT – EVERYONE WILL BE VACCINATED
Bulloch COVID Testing Options
Local doctors’ offices and urgent cares can provide PCR COVID testing and some have rapid testing capability. However, only a few are providing the rapid test to the general public and the price for testing varies based on insurance from $85 to $175 for rapid testing locally.
LUETTA MOORE PARK and East Georgia Heath Care, which is a federally subsidized clinic, are the two free options for PCR testing. DPH only offers PCR testing and they require you to complete an online questionnaire to determine eligibility for testing.
East Georgia Health Care – PCR – FREE, Rapid Antigen testing – $40
Statesboro Urgent Care – PCR, Rapid Antigen testing – $85 with Nurse visit/$125 with doctor visit
Statesboro Total Health – PCR, Rapid Antigen testing and Rapid Molecular testing
Applecare – PCR, Rapid Antigen and Rapid Molecular testing
South Georgia Immediate Care – which is now St. Joseph’s Urgent Care – PCR, Rapid Antigen testing
WHITE HOUSE COVID TASK FORCE BULLOCH RECOMMENDATIONS:
Act as though EVERYONE is Positive in Bulloch County
This is definitely the case now in Bulloch County. Local leaders are pleading with ALL Bulloch counties to operate for the next few weeks as if EVERYONE you come in contact with is positive. It is imperative that we all wear masks, avoid crowds and social distance. Please reconsider gathering with large groups including church and funerals.
Bulloch County Report
- 23 COVID positives reported today. This includes 16 PCR positives and 7 rapid antigen positives.
- 82 deaths which include 47 PCR test positive & 35 Rapid positive deaths reported for Bulloch
- 26 at EGRMC with COVID-19 (May or may not be Bulloch County residents.)
- 10 COVID-19 patients on vents at EGRMC
- Bulloch County 14 day average of positive cases per 100,000 is 447 and 7 day average of percent of positive tests is 14.5%. (Targets are below 100 per 100,000 and positive tests at 5% or below) THESE ONLY INCLUDE PCR TEST – DPH DOES NOT INLCUDE ANITIGEN POSITIVES IN DAILY REPORT BY COUNTY. YOU SHOULD ASSUME THE NUMBERS ARE WORSE THAN DPH IS REPORTING.
- EGRMC has 17 total vents. However, this is reporting only COVID-19 patients on vents. It is unknown how many actual vents are in use at this time at EGRMC
- Hospital Stress Report: East Georgia Regional Medical Center
- The ratio of COVID-19 hospitalizations to total beds gives a picture of how much strain a hospital is under. Though there’s not a clear threshold, it’s concerning when that rate rises above 10%, hospital capacity experts told NPR.
- Anything above 20% represents “extreme stress” for the hospital, according to a framework developed by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
- If that figure gets to near 50% or above, the stress on staff is immense. “It means the hospital is overloaded. It means other services in that hospital are being delayed. The hospital becomes a nightmare,” IHME’s Ali Mokdad told NPR.
- Those thresholds are a bit higher for ICU capacity. IHME says when 30% or more of ICU beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, it indicates a hospital is operating under “high stress.” Facilities greater than 60% are considered at “extreme stress.”
Candler County Report:
- 0 COVID positives reported today. This includes 0 PCR positives and 0 rapid antigen positives
- 49 total deaths of Candler residents which include 32 PCR positive and 17 rapid positive
- Candler County 14 day average of positive cases per 100,000 is 92 and the 7 day average of percent of positive tests is 6.5%. (Targets are below 100 per 100,000 and positive tests at 5% or below) THESE ONLY INCLUDE PCR TEST – DPH DOES NOT INLCUDE ANITIGEN POSITIVES IN DAILY REPORT BY COUNTY. YOU SHOULD ASSUME THE NUMBERS ARE WORSE THAN DPH IS REPORTING.
Evans County Report:
- 1 COVID positives reported today. This includes 1 PCR positives and 0 rapid antigen positives
- 18 total deaths which include 11 PCR positive and 7 rapid positive
- Evans County 14 day average of positive cases per 100,000 is 271 and the 7 day average of percent of positive tests is 17.2%. (Targets are below 100 per 100,000 and positive tests at 5% or below). THESE ONLY INCLUDE PCR TEST – DPH DOES NOT INLCUDE ANITIGEN POSITIVES IN DAILY REPORT BY COUNTY. YOU SHOULD ASSUME THE NUMBERS ARE WORSE THAN DPH IS REPORTING.
- Hospital Stress Report: Evans Memorial Hospital
Bulloch Schools, Colleges and University Report
Bulloch County Schools
Georgia Southern University
- Updated weekly on Monday. Click link below for totals:
East Georgia State College
- Updated daily/weekdays. Click link below for totals:
Ogeechee Technical College
- Updated weekly on Monday. Click link below for totals:
About This Report
DPH Not Reporting Rapid Test Positives in Daily Numbers
The numbers we are reporting daily from DPH are not telling an accurate picture of what is really happening in our community now. The primary issue is Georgia DPH’s refusal to follow the White House’s COVID task force recommendations to combine all positive test results. Currently Georgia only reports a positive case if it is done by the PCR method, not rapid antigen test.
The PCR test is now taking 48 to 72 hours to get results back. The rapid test takes only minutes. After pressure from health care providers and media, DPH began reporting the number of rapid positives statewide daily and by county on a weekly basis.
On Monday, we get the rapid test positive numbers for the last seven days. However, DPH continues to refuse to use the total positive cases to calculate critical indicators, like percent positives, which allow citizens and leaders to determine the seriousness of the outbreak. This makes it appear that the COVID outbreak is not as severe as it may actually be.
DPH Definitions of Deaths
“Confirmed Deaths”: This number includes confirmed COVID-19 cases 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-19 contributed to the individual’s death.
“Probable Deaths”: This number includes individuals who are antigen 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.
White House Task Force Recommends Including Rapid Test Results
Georgia is not currently combining molecular (PCR) and antigen (rapid) test results, which is recommended by the White House COVID Task Force. Instead Georgia reports them separately daily statewide and provides county antigen positives on a weekly basis. With the rapid accessibility of rapid testing, this will greatly impact the number of positive cases.
In last weeks White House report they explained that antigen tests perform well in the highly infectious window and will be effective in identification of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic infectious cases.
• Antigen tests do not perform well after 8-10 days post infection when nucleic acid cycle times are greater than 30.
• All antigen results must be reported with both the number of positive results and total tests conducted; positives must be reported as COVID cases.
A special thanks to Dr. Frank Davis, M.D. F.A.C.S, a retired trauma surgeon who lives in Bulloch County. He has worked closely with the Grice Connect team to design the COVID-19 dashboard and provide brief interpretation of the data. You will be seeing and hearing more from Dr. Davis as he continues to help us monitor the COVID-19 impact locally.
Thanks for supporting and following Grice Connect.