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Chatham Co. Health Department leader briefs County Commission on COVID case surge

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 5:06 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - At Friday’s Chatham County Commission meeting, the top administrator at the Chatham County Health Department gave County Commissioners an overview of how the latest surge in COVID cases is affecting the local population.

In the first health department presentation to County Commissioners in 2022, Dr. Chris Rustin laid out how the omicron variant is affecting the COVID case count in Chatham County.

“It’s a straight vertical increase. And that’s something that you don’t typically see with diseases. It goes up really fast, and really high,” said Dr. Rustin, while referencing a COVID transmission chart.

Dr. Rustin said the one thing he’s seen with the omicron variant is hospitalizations aren’t as high as they have been in the past. But he anticipates they’ll keep rising.

“While the omicron clinical outcomes appear to be milder, the data is showing that more and more people do go to the hospital, don’t necessarily need a ventilator. It’s the sheer volume of cases that’s going to drive people who potentially are not vaccinated into the hospital.”

Dr. Rustin said that will continue to put a strain on hospital resources like bed space and on doctors and nurses.

As we’ve heard before, Dr. Rustin encouraged people to stay away from the emergency room if they’re just looking to get tested.

Dr. Rustin reminded Commissioners that even though next Monday is a holiday, the vaccine clinic here at Savannah Fire headquarters will be open, as well as both testing sites in the county.

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