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Chatham Co. seeing rise in COVID-19 cases

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 3:59 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2021 at 6:08 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Hotspots of new COVID-19 cases are popping up while local vaccination rates remain low.

A look at Chatham County’s data shows an increase in the rolling average of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and the community transmission index. But Doctors say the reason for this is complex.

“We need more people vaccinated to help keep those numbers down also people are traveling. If you are vaccinated and you are traveling you may be exposed, you may bring it back to your community and we also have a lot of tourists that are coming into town,” said Dr. Chris Rustin, Administrator of the Chatham County Health Department.

But it’s more than just that, Dr. Rustin says these hot summer temps are a factor.

“The other thing I want to mention is that you know as the heat increases people tend to move indoors to cooler environments so you know when you put all of this together there’s certainly a propensity for our transmission rate to increase.”

He says with less than 50 percent of our population vaccinated, we still have a lot of work to do. He says the Chatham County Health Department is working to address those who are still on the fence about getting their shot. Local data shows convenience, side effects and timing are concerns so they are working to address those.

“I think you’re not going to see huge jumps in numbers. They are going to be small events and small numbers that add up to those big numbers hopefully over time and so I think at this point you know in the beginning it was more of a sprint, but now we’re in a marathon.”

Dr. Rustin says while the pandemic has weened, it’s not over and we must press on and work together to protect our community.

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