COVID-19 cases increasing in Chatham Co. as people gathered for holidays

Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 1:54 PM EST
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - COVID-19 cases have doubled in Chatham County since the beginning of December, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Health leaders say people gathering for the holidays are part of the spike.

As the weeks of December went by, COVID-19 cases constantly rose. On Dec. 1, they tracked about 154 COVID cases. Fast forward to Dec. 28 and we’re looking at 309 cases.

Health professionals say they wouldn’t be surprised if that number continues rising.

“It really began in mid-November and continued to creep up since then,” Ginger Heidel said.

Heidel, the risk communicator with the Coastal Health District, said people gathering for recent holidays is likely to blame.

While another holiday weekend is ahead, she doesn’t think there will be a COVID outbreak like what we saw around this time last year.

“Omicron really sent the numbers sky high and while we’re seeing an increase, we’re not seeing anything quite like that. We’re just going to have to wait and see what January brings but now is a great time if someone has not gotten vaccinated or hasn’t gotten their Bivalent booster, now is a great time to do it,” Heidel said.

She said they haven’t seen enough people getting the new Bivalent vaccine that protects against multiple variants. She says only four percent of children under 5-years-old in Chatham County have any COVID vaccine at all.

Vaccinated or not, Heidel encourages people to test for COVID ahead of time before a large gathering for this New Year’s.

You can do that by going to one of their kiosks, a testing site or asking for a free at home test inside the health department.