ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – COVID cases are down big since the Omicron wave, according to the latest statistics from Dougherty County EMS. The Department of Public Health (DPH) had zero positive calls from patients with COVID-19 since the week starting March 21.
EMS Director of Dougherty County Sam Allen notes that 50% of residents now have at least one dose of a vaccine, but he would like it to be higher.
“We launched a project a few months ago, Strive For 75. We want to get to 75%, so we’re not stopping at 50,” Allen said.
Kristin Patten with the South Health District (SHD) says she believes COVID is still a threat to public safety, and cases are generally going underreported. She says that cases are still significantly down.
“Individuals who take the test kits at home and don’t call and let us know, we’ll have no way of knowing and those are not included in the numbers,” she said.
Testing has also declined. Over SHD’s 10 counties, they get 10 to 20 people testing per day. Georgia DPH officials say although case rates and the number of deaths are lower, there are people who are still dying from COVID-19.
“We certainly don’t want anyone to believe that COVID is over. We certainly would like that to be the case,” Patten said.
According to DPH, 20 Georgians a day are still dying from COVID. Although the trend line is going down, Patten says they still must be prepared.
Allen says doctors don’t want another wave.
“We don’t want the hospitals to be overloaded with COVID cases when they can be looking at regular patients,” said Allen.
Allen is monitoring the period after July 4th. He says this is because if not enough people are up to date with their vaccine, another variant could be able to spread. So, he says get the vaccine now.
“What I’m watching right now is once the cases start spiking up again, will see an upsurge in people getting the vaccine. With the numbers really low right now, people are hesitant to get their additional booster,” he said.
Allen says he’s not forcing anyone to get a vaccine, he just wants what’s best for people and hospitals.
He also says the vaccine is not 100% effective, and keeping good health vaccinated or not, is always a good thing.
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