Grice Connect began receiving questions this week about the significant drop off in cars in the Mako Medical Free multi county COVID testing site in downtown Statesboro.

This testing site is contracted by the Southeast Health District and serves counties contiguous to Bulloch County.

This week testing counts dropped almost in half, from an average of nearly 400 per day, to a little over 200 per day. At the same time, Bulloch County COVID positive test numbers continued to climb, EGRMC is full and EMS is overwhelmed.

Grice Connect followers were also sharing that the wait was over two hours most days last week and it was difficult to get a next day slot for testing.

Long lines at the Free COVID testing site in downtown Statesboro a week ago

This week, there was hardly any wait times and Grice Connect followers reported getting same day time slots for testing.

Obviously something has changed. Many were getting false hope that our COVID positive case counts were dropping in Bulloch. There was also thoughts that people were giving up and finding other testing options.

We reached out to the Southeast Health District to see if there were staffing, testing supply issues or maybe they had opened an additional testing site.

Katie Hadden, Public Information Officer, Southeast Health District responded to say that there were not any changes that should affect COVID testing demand.

Contiguous Schools System Closed, Others took aggressive COVID action

However, after more research, we learned that area school systems have taken aggressive steps to stop the uncontrollable COVID spread THIS WEEK. Both Jenkins and Screven CLOSED schools this past week.

Emanuel moved to two day a week face-to-face and Tattnall County allowed students to switch to virtual. All this week.

This provided an immediate and very visual example of what happens when schools implement aggressive CDC COVID protocols to protect their students, teachers, staff and the community.

School systems adjoining Bulloch County COVID response

Here is an overview of how other contiguous counties have responded to the uncontrollable surge of COVID cases.

Screven County – August 23 Change

  • Closed School – Move to Digital learning
  • Return to face-to-face learning September 7
  • MASK mandate for all students staff and visitors

Jenkins County – August 23 Change

  • Closed school from August 23 to September 8
  • Beginning September 9 move to alternate learning schedule with face-to-face instruction two days per week through October 1

Emanuel County – August 23 Change

  • Move to alternate learning schedule with face-to-face two days per week through at least September 10

Tattnall County August 23 CHANGE

  • Parents allowed to choose virtual option

Candler County – August 25 Change

  • Skipping seats in the lunchroom and eating outside when possible

Evans County since August 9

  • Postponed start of school for two weeks
  • MASKS required for all staff, students and visitors at school and on buses
  • Hybrid plan developed if needed

 Effingham County August 20 Change

  • MASKS required for all staff and visitors and asymptomatic close contact students who remain in school
  • 10 paid Covid sick days for staff members who test positive

Bulloch County Schools August 9 Change

Close contacts at school no longer forced to quarantine if healthy

Bulloch County Schools August 13 Change

  • Strongly encouraged masks

Bulloch County Schools August 27 Change

  • Bulloch Schools will close on Friday, September 3 to allow employees and students who are eligible to get a vaccine

DeWayne Grice

Herschel DeWayne Grice is the founder of Grice Connect an online news and information company in Statesboro, Georgia. DeWayne has been active in the media for over three decades. He brings a unique insight...