Chatham Co. leaders tracking slight uptick in COVID-19 cases

Chatham Co. leaders tracking slight uptick in COVID-19 cases

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - While some states are seeing a surge in positive COVID-19 cases, the percent of people testing positive in Georgia is remaining about the same.

Just over 2,000 new cases were confirmed statewide Friday. Of those cases, 77 were recorded in the Coastal Health District. Chatham County still leads the district in number of cases.

Here’s a breakdown of data from the last two weeks in the county.

There have been 471 newly reported cases in last two weeks and 13 newly reported deaths. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to infect people here in our area, health leaders right now say they are monitoring the situation closely.

Coastal Health District leaders told Chatham County commissioners Friday we are seeing a slight uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases in our area. They say it’s even more important to make sure we’re following those best practices of wearing a mask, washing your hands, and socially distancing.

“For the first time in a few weeks, our seven-day average has slightly increased from our 14-day average," Chatham County Health Department Administrator Dr. Chris Rustin said.

A look at Chatham County’s numbers shows community transmission rates are still high in our area. While health leaders want to see the CTI drop below 100, we still hover around 160. As for daily new case rates, they want to be below 5, and we sit beyond 11. As for the death rate, Coastal Health District epidemiologist say we are seeing a slight increase in deaths over the past month.

This concerned Commission Chairman Al Scott.

“I don’t want people to be lulled to sleep because of charts of the trends and think that we are completely out of the woods because we’re not," Scott said.

In fact, health officials say we are seeing infections in long term care facilities increasing.

“They were spared so to speak in the spring and summer, you’re starting to see some of those long-term care facilities that are having some increases in disease this time," said the Coastal Health District’s Director of Epidemiology Robert Thornton.

Leaders say there is no one thing causing the uptick but rather several contributing factors. Dr. Rustin says although we’re seeing this happen across the state and country, it’s still a concern they are watching closely.

“If the trend continues we do expect the hospitalizations may increase, right now we’re kind of flat with hospitalizations they’ve decreased dramatically from the peak of mid-July, but any time you see an uptick in cases that could be followed by hospitalizations and so it’s something that we just need to keep an eye on. The public needs to remember that the best tool is to follow the public health guidance," Dr. Rustin said.

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