Uptick in COVID-19 cases reported here

There was an uptick in the number of Grady County residents testing positive for COVID-19 in the last week and also another death of a local person reported. According to information from the Georgia Department of Public Health, there were 19 new cases in the last seven days, that’s nine more than the last week’s 10 new cases. The additional death brings the total number of Grady Countians lost to COVID-19 to 47.
Neighboring counties are also seeing slight increases in the number of positive cases, although the number of deaths in those counties was unchanged in the last week.
Thomas County had 19 new cases in the last week compared to 11 the previous week; Mitchell County had seven new cases in the last week compared to six the week before; and Decatur County had three new cases in the last week compared to 13 the week prior.
Grady General Hospital was treating two covid-positive patients as of Tuesday, Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville had four such patients and Mitchell County Hospital in Camilla had one, according to Shealy Register, spokeswoman for the hospitals.
The number of students and educators in Grady County Schools affected by COVID-19 dropped somewhat in the last week.
As of Tuesday, there were 23 students on quarantine and one student reporting a positive diagnosis. There were zero educators on quarantine or testing positive, according to Dr. Kermit Gilliard, superintendent of Grady County Schools.
The student testing positive for COVID-19 attends Washington Middle School where 11 students were on quarantine as of Tuesday, Gilliard reports. Other students on quarantine include five at Southside Elementary School, four at Northside Elementary School, two at Cairo High School and one at Eastside Elementary School.
There are vaccine updates for the Southwest Public Health District, which includes Grady County.
As of April 28, the health district resumed the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for Georgians aged 18 and older, said Dr. Charles Ruis, Health Director, Southwest Public Health District 8-2.
“Because our supply of that vaccine tends to be lower than our Moderna inventory, it is reserved for those individuals best served by a single dose option,” he said, such as those vaccinated on site at schools and businesses as well as those who are homebound.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the CDC, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices lifted the pause regarding the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine in the U.S.
The federal agencies advised that a warning should be added to the vaccine about the potential for very rare, but severe blood clots associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. In particular, women under the age of 50 should be made of aware of the increased risk of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome and may choose to receive another vaccine.
The health district has also partnered with CORE to provide additional vaccination opportunities for area residents.
CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and strengthening communities affected by or vulnerable to crisis. CORE has been working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020 and has the operational and logistical know-how to reach marginalized and vulnerable communities.
Currently, CORE GA is working to bring mobile vaccine units to increase COVID-19 vaccine access in South-Central Georgia.
Walk-ups are welcome or register by visiting albanyvax.coreresponse.org. Only those 18 and older are eligible for these vaccines. CORE will be administering the Moderna vaccine, which requires two doses about a month apart. Vaccination opportunities in Southwest Health District are this week, May 4-9:
Albany – May 5 and May 8, 2 p.m.-6 p.m., Sandtrap Lounge, 1412 Radium Springs Rd.; May 8, 8:30 a.m.-noon, Litman Cathedral, 1129 W. Whitney Avenue; Moultrie – May 6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Antigua Place Apartments, 2310 Fifth Ave. SE; and Warwick – May 7, 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Warwick Police Department, 141 Dogwood St. SE. Earlier this week they were also in Sylvester.
The Grady County Health Department will continue to offer Covid vaccines on its scheduled days each week. Appointments may be made by calling the office at (229) 377-2992.

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