COVID-19 numbers rise in Coastal Georgia following July 4th weekend

Coronavirus

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Fourth of July weekend saw thousands of travelers flock to the Coastal Empire. From the Savannah Waterfront out to Tybee Island, social distancing was an afterthought. Though great for businesses, it raises concerns for both local health experts and city officials alike.

“There were folks everywhere, I mean everywhere,” said city of Savannah Mayor Van Johnson at his weekly press conference Tuesday morning. “I’m concerned about the impact and how that will look for infection rates moving forward, so I will be monitoring that as well.”

Dr. Lawton Davis, Director of the Coastal Health District says coastal Georgia’s vaccination numbers have hit a plateau. At the virus’ peak, more than 1,400 shots were being administered per day. Now, some mobile pop-up sites are struggling to even reach 10.

“Rates of vaccination obviously have dropped way off. At our peak, we were doing over 1,000 a day with a couple days we did more than 1,400 a day just in Chatham County. Now we’re doing 250-350 a week, so that’s a significant drop off and it’s dropped off in other counties as well,” described Dr. Davis.

“Most of our pop-up sites, it can be as few as five or may have 20 or 25 come. At the health department we’re doing somewhere between 250 – 350 a week. Anybody that comes into the health department here, we offer them a vaccine. If they come in to pick up a birth certificate we offer them a vaccine, if they say yes, we give it to them on the spot,” explained Dr. Davis.

Though Chatham County remains just above the Georgia state average as far as vaccinations are concerned, positive cases are once again on the rise. In the last week and a half, hospitalizations in Chatham County have risen from just 3 up to 20. The percentage of positive cases have also jumped from 2.3% to 4.3% in the last two weeks.

Even though those increases may seem small, Dr. Davis says that it may take up to two more weeks until the full holiday weekend surge is truly discovered in the Coastal Empire.

“I think there’s obviously a good chance. We wont know until we see what happens and it may take a week, 10 days, even two weeks to see a big surge if there is to be one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some increase,” Dr. Davis said.

Chatham County remains at 40% vaccinated, while the state of Georgia as a whole sits at 38% vaccinated.

For an updated list of vaccination sites in the Coastal Empire, you can click here.

To view the Georgia Department of Public Health’s updated COVID-19 numbers throughout the state, you can click here.

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