Gordon DPH Health Department sign

Gordon County Health Department, 310 N. River St.

As of Thursday, June 10, an average of 3 new COVID-19 cases per day were reported in Gordon County over the last week, a decrease of more than 30% from the average two weeks ago.

The number of hospitalized COVID patients has also fallen in the county, according to data reported by the New York Times.

This decrease in hospitalizations and newly reported COVID-19 cases comes just two weeks after Dr. Gary Voccio, health director for the 10-county Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District that includes Gordon County, released a statement expressing concern over a 21% increase in cases district-wide.

“At this time, we have not seen a corresponding increase in hospitalizations or deaths, but these events can take a few weeks longer to occur after infections increase,” Voccio said in the statement. “We do not want to overwhelm our emergency rooms or hospitals with COVID-19 patients. If this happens, they would not be able to care for people with other acute illnesses.”

Most of the increase in cases across the district has been among younger people aged 18-29. Voccio urged the public, particularly young people in this high-risk category, to continue following COVID-19 safety protocols over the coming months and especially over the July 4th holiday.

“Although an increase in cases with re-opening as people come into more contact with one another is not unexpected, the marked increase in cases is signaling that we need to take steps to limit further spread that could set back our re-opening,” he said.

Steps for limiting the spread of the virus include social distancing, hand washing, masking, limiting close contact with others, particularly indoors, and registering to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health Vaccine Dashboard, 29,013 vaccines have already been administered in Gordon County. The same data reports that 24% of all county residents are fully vaccinated and 28% have received the first dose of a vaccine.

Nationwide, about 70% of U.S. states and territories are seeing falling rates of COVID-19 cases, according to information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 7-day average of daily new cases across the country is 14,143, down 10.3% from last week.

For more information about COVID-19, go to www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV. For specific information about COVID-19 in Gordon County, visit dph.georgia.gov and follow links to access the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Interactive Dashboard.

Kelcey Walker is a reporter for the Calhoun Times in Calhoun, Ga.

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