The number of COVID-19 cases is increasing in many counties across Georgia and one of them is Baldwin County, where there has been a 19-percent surge in confirmed cases of late.

Several other counties that comprise the North Central Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health have seen a spike in cases, too, according to the latest statistical data from DPH officials.

Between June 28 at 4 p.m. and July 5 at 10 p.m., the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Baldwin County increased from 480 to 569.

Since the global COVID-19 pandemic began in mid-March, there have been 76 hospitalizations of patients and 34 deaths associated with the virus in Baldwin County.

There remains a “substantial spread” of the coronavirus COVID-19 in Baldwin County, according to state health officials.

“Since June 15, confirmed case counts, as well as emergency room visits associated with COVID-19 and ILI Syndromes, have increased amongst Baldwin County residents,” according to a statement from the North Central Health District. “The increase in cases cannot be attributed solely to congregate setting outbreaks. Due to this, we are watching the situation closely and working with our partners to ensure that precautions amongst residents are encouraged.”

Baldwin County also experienced a 5 percent outbreak-related problem between June 15 and June 28.

“The other 95 percent of cases reported during that timeframe in Baldwin County have not been attributed to a single area of concern and represent community level spread within the county,” health officials said. “Since March 2020, 54 percent or 305 cases reported in Baldwin County have been linked to an outbreak.” 

When the pandemic first broke out, several residents and patients in various nursing homes and state-operated medical facilities in Milledgeville and Baldwin County experienced an outbreak of the virus.

The Georgia War Veterans Home was hit the hardest.

Fifty-four residents and 29 staff members at the Georgia War Veterans Home tested positive for COVID-19. Six of them were hospitalized and 12 residents died from complications associated with the virus.

Bostick Nursing Center, located on the campus of Renaissance Park at Central State Hospital, meanwhile, has had 63 residents and 16 staff members test positive for COVID-19. There have been 10 hospitalizations and 10 deaths.

At Baldwin State Prison, the coronavirus has sickened 19 inmates, three staff members, hospitalized seven and claimed the lives of two inmates.

At Riverbend Correctional Facility, 16 inmates and 18 staff members have come down with COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Three of the inmates had to be hospitalized there. There have been no reported deaths linked to the virus.

At Chaplinwood Nursing Home in Milledgeville, 14 residents and six staff members have contracted COVID-19. Two of the residents had to be hospitalized and two reportedly died, according to state health officials.

Within the 13-county North Central Health District of DPH, through July 5 at 10 p.m. there were 3,750 confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, health officials said.

The North Central Health District is comprised of Baldwin, Hancock, Putnam, Wilkinson, Washington, Jasper, Jones, Bibb, Houston, Peach, Monroe, Twiggs and Crawford counties.

A total of 629 people living in the North Central Health District, meanwhile, have been hospitalized at some point since the pandemic began, while a total of 181 deaths have been linked to the disease.

Meanwhile, there has been a 36 percent increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases within the North Central Health District during a period that ran from June 28 through July 5, according to state health officials. Within that period, the health district has seen 180 confirmed cases.

“The incidence rate of COVID-19 for NCHD residents between June 15 and June 28 was 62 per 100,000 population. The previous 14-day reporting cycle revealed 96 per 100,000 population.

Health officials have broken down a lot of interesting data since the pandemic began.

Figures show that 68 percent of those hospitalized with COVID-19 and living in the North Central Health District have been released from those medical institutions.

Sixteen percent of those who have contracted the virus are health care workers.

Another interesting figure shows that 71 percent of the total deaths within the local health district is associated with a congregate setting outbreak, within prisons and nursing homes, while 30 percent of cases within all 13 counties of the health district are associated with a congregate setting outbreak.

When it comes to race, 47.7 percent of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the North Central Health District are reported to be Black, according to state health officials. White people, meanwhile, make up 26.91 percent, while another 20.97 percent of the cases are of unknown race, and Asians account for 1.14-percent.

Health officials are continuing to urge residents to follow the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

They are urging people to wear face masks, wash your hands frequently, and practice social distancing, maintaining a six-feet distance from one another in crowds.

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