Covid Hits The Chronicle

By Rebecca Mills

After seeing a massive national decline in COVID cases since this spring, we are again seeing a rise in positive cases across the state. Amber Schmidtke intensely follows and reports the COVID numbers and trends in her piece, The COVID Digest. Her reporting tells us that over the past week, in comparison to the week before, hospitalizations rose 8% in Georgia. ICU admissions also rose 48% statewide this week, and COVID related deaths rose 43%. She points out that there is one obvious issue with reporting these numbers: we want to catch and treat cases before they are in intensive care units. In many cases, people feel sick but do not seek medical care until it becomes an absolute necessity. In that time, it is likely they are “inadvertently spreading” COVID to others. This ensures the cycle will continue, and the numbers will remain high.

In Emanuel County, we are no exception to these statistics. Jennifer Harrison, NP and County Nurse Manager for Emanuel County Health Department weighed in on the statistical side of COVID. “Locally, Emanuel County Health Department is tracking the COVID numbers in Emanuel County, however, we have stopped providing this information to the county office at this time. District and State epidemiology continue to monitor numbers across the state and locally and provide data to the public and CDC.”

It is widely known that the numbers being reported are not completely accurate for a long list of reasons. We can safely assume the increase we are seeing now is only the tip of a statistical iceberg. Lower case numbers during the summer with a resurgence at the start of fall is something we have seen before. With the beginning of the new school year on the horizon, we can anticipate the spread to increase even more in the weeks ahead. Knowledge of the current guidelines provided by the CDC, testing, and full vaccination are all we can do to slow the spread.

“The Emanuel County Health Department is currently offering rapid test kits and Moderna and Pfizer Vaccinations for all ages and all doses in the series. We hold COVID vaccine clinics on Tuesdays and Thursdays 9-4 PM and this is a walk-in service, no appointment needed.” Jennifer also urges the public to view the CDC guidelines online at https//www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov. As we know, these guidelines change regularly, so it is best to stay on top of any changes or updates.

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