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Update from EMA Director : 08/19/21

Brandon Fletcher, Director

Ben Hill County Emergency Services



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                            
August 2021                                                                                                            


COVID Cases Rising Across Region

Ben Hill County Sees 188 New Cases in 14 Days


FITZGERALD – New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise with many counties seeing daily case increases comparable to, and for some even higher than, those seen during the first COVID-19 wave in 2020.

The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that, from August 7-August 13, Ben Hill County reported 123 new COVID-19 laboratory positives. In the week prior, July 31-August 6, 65 new positives were reported. This means that, in the last two weeks, Ben Hill County has seen 188 new cases.

South Health District serves 10 counties across South Georgia: Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Tift and Turner. All 10 of these counties are considered “counties with high transmission” according to the Department of Public Health. 

South Health District wants to encourage anyone over the age of 12 who has not been vaccinated, to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“Vaccination remains our best tool to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and the new Delta variant,” said District Health Director Dr. William R. Grow, MD, FACP. “The new cases we are seeing are effecting people of all ages. Younger adults and even children are getting seriously ill during this new surge. We must all work together and get vaccinated to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.”

While vaccination is not a 100 percent guarantee that an individual will not contract COVID-19, vaccination does drastically decrease your likelihood of getting COVID-19. It also dramatically decreases your chances of becoming seriously ill, being hospitalized, or dying if you do contract COVID-19.

As of August 17, 2021, 4,311,249 individuals in Georgia were fully vaccinated. As of that same date and since January 1, 2021, 18,697 (0.4%) have tested positive after being fully vaccinated. An even smaller percentage have been hospitalized (824 or 0.02%) and 134 (0.003%) have died.

In Ben Hill County, 29 percent of residents (4,983 people) have been fully vaccinated as of August 18. People are considered fully vaccinated:  2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine.

In addition to vaccination, other steps that individuals can take to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 include: mask wearing (for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals) in areas of high transmission, social distancing, hand washing and avoiding crowded settings.

Contact your local health department today to schedule a vaccination appointment.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 or to schedule an appointment for testing, visit and like South Health District on Facebook.