Dept. of Public Health SHD: COVID-19 cases surge in Lowndes Co. with more than 1,000 case increase

South Health District sign.
South Health District sign.(WALB)
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - COVID-19 cases are spiking across the nation as Americans continue to get vaccinated.

Some cities and counties in South Georgia reinstated mask mandates as a result of the increase in cases.

The Georgia Department of Public Health South Health District (SHD) reported that Lowndes County is experiencing a big COVID-19 spike.

South Health District’s weekly COVID-19 report showed in the last seven days, positive cases increased to over 1,000 in Lowndes County.

DPH COVID data at the end of July.
DPH COVID data at the end of July.(South health district)
DPH COVID data at the beginning of August.
DPH COVID data at the beginning of August.(South Health DIstrict)

Last week’s report showed a 228 case increase over seven days in Lowndes County. However, this week, the report shows that Lowndes County saw a 1,013 case increase over seven days.

SHD’s Courtney Sheeley said they were seeing about 150 cases reported per week just a few weeks ago. She said numbers are rising in all 10 counties they oversee and include people of all ages, vaccinated and non-vaccinated.

In the past seven days, SHD reported that nearly 19% of positive cases are people who are 18 and younger.

Sheeley encourages everyone to get vaccinated who can to help protect the ones who can’t.

“We highly encourage people that are caretakers of children that can not be vaccinated, those children that are 11 and younger at this point and can not get the vaccine. So take them into consideration, parents, of course, we encourage, daycare workers, caregivers, even caregivers that are taking care of your elderly,” said Sheeley.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention graphic shows just how contagious and highly transmissible the Delta variant is compared to the previous strain.

CDC graphic showing how transmissible the Delta Variant is.
CDC graphic showing how transmissible the Delta Variant is. (CDC)

“We are also being told that about 97% of people that are hospitalized aren’t vaccinated, they have not received their vaccine. That really is the biggest reason we encourage people to get vaccinated. You do not want to end up in the hospital, on a ventilator,” said Sheeley.

Sheeley said when vaccines first rolled out, the 60 and older population rushed to get the shot and now they have the highest vaccination rate. While some in that age range are still getting sick, the numbers are not as high.

Hospitals are seeing more cases in younger people who cannot get a vaccine until they turn 12.

If you’re 12 or older, health officials recommend getting vaccinated.

Sheeley said a combination of people returning from vacation and to school and work also play a role in cases rising.

As always, everyone is encouraged to wash their hands, social distance, wear a mask and stay home if you’re sick.

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