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COVID cases spike again in Pike

Pike County’s confirmed cases of COVID skyrocketed over the past two weeks, rising from 77 cases over a two week period to 189 cases over a two week period on Jan. 10 according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Confirmed deaths from COVID stayed at 53 from the previous week as well as the 21 probable deaths. Pike has had a total number of 2,129 cases since the pandemic started in 2020 and 143 residents have been hospitalized due to the illness. 

Last year on Jan. 10, cases reached 142 for a two-week period with a total of 744 cases, 15 deaths, 8 probable deaths and 55 hospitalizations since March 2020. In January 2021, the Pike Magistrate Court and Tax Commissioner’s offices were closed due to multiple employees with confirmed COVID cases.

When school let out for the break this December, there were four positive COVID cases in the school system with 10 students and staff under quarantine. 

According to info released Jan. 7 by the school system, there were 20 COVID positive cases with 44 students and staff under quarantine. There were 14 COVID-positive students (six at the elementary, three at the high school, two at the middle and three at the Ninth Grade Academy) and six COVID-positive staff. 

More than 5.5 million citizens in Georgia are fully vaccinated at 53% of the population. In Pike County, 34% of citizens are fully vaccinated at 6,285 residents. The highest percentage of vaccinated Pike residents are 75 to 84 years old at 86.2%, followed by 65 to 74 year olds at 79.9 percent and 55 to 64 year olds at 60.9%. The lowest percentage of Pike citizens vaccinated are 5 to 9 year olds with 2.2% of them vaccinated, followed by 10 to 14 year olds at 7.8%. 

To schedule an appointment to be vaccinated, go to vaccinefinder.org or call the Health Department Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line at 888-457-0186 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, Merck and Pfizer oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19 will be available at select retail pharmacies in Georgia, including City Pharmacy in Zebulon in the coming weeks. The supply of Molnupiravir and Paxlovi is extremely limited and Pike is the only county in the area that will be shipped the antiviral treatment which must be prescribed only to patients who are positive after direct SARS-CoV-2 testing and are at high risk for hospitalization or death. See the full story on page 7A. 

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