‘Covid is not gone:’ Coastal Health District leaders see increase in Covid-19 cases

Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 3:09 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2023 at 4:38 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Public health leaders are responding to the recent spike of COVID cases across our region.

Coastal Health District’s Dr. Bonzo Reddick says COVID cases have doubled in the past month in our area. He says if the community doesn’t take the necessary precautions, it may be a while until cases slow down.

“COVID is not gone and this is kind of proof of that.”

Dr. Reddick says the variant going around is a new sub variant of Omicron. The symptoms are typically lots of coughing, respiratory issues, and losing your taste and smell. He says pink eye has been a common symptom in children.

“It’s very, very contagious what we’re seeing. It spreads from person to person a lot. The good news, it doesn’t seem to be causing as many deaths but it is putting a lot of people in the hospital,” said Dr. Reddick.

He says there has been a nearly 50% increase in people going to the hospital with COVID.

He hopes cases will slow down in about a month. He says that’s up to the community though. He reminds folks to keep up with vaccines, wash your hands and stay home when sick.

“The minimum staying away time when you have COVID is five days. I’ve seen people rushing back in two to three days. I saw one person admitted, when their fever was gone for 24 hours they’re like, ‘I guess I’m okay now.’ They rush back to work. So, good hand washing, staying away from people when you’re sick.”

Dr. Reddick says if it’s been a year or more since you got vaccinated, you’re likely not protected against the strain going around. He recommends people get the bivalent booster. You can do that at the health department or talk to your doctor about options.

He says a new COVID vaccine with more coverage is in the works and it’s expected to roll out this fall.