Doctors in CSRA see fewer COVID cases and hospitalizations

Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 6:12 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We looked at COVID cases in Georgia and what doctors are saying about the next phase of the pandemic.

On March 1, Richmond County schools will not require students and staff to wear face masks. That announcement came Friday, the same day the CDC said many Americans can take a break from masks.

They’re basing new guidelines on three factors: hospitalizations, hospital capacity, and COVID cases. Many of our Georgia counties fall at the medium community risk level.

The CDC only recommends you wear a mask if you are at high risk for severe illness. Meanwhile, many of our South Carolina counties are high risk, which means everyone should still wear a mask inside. AU Health, University Hospital, and Doctors Hospital are all coming down from the omicron peak.

The average positive test rate has dropped drastically. On Jan. 1, 33.1 percent of everyone tested for COVID was positive. The peak was Jan. 6, with a positivity rate of 37.1 percent. Last Friday, we were down to 6.4 percent.

Doctors at AU say we have fewer COVID cases, hospitalized patients, and deaths.

“We’re certainly in a better place than we were a month or two ago,” said Dr. Rodger MacArthur, professor of medicine, infectious diseases at Augusta University Health.

On Jan. 28, Richmond County had nearly 3,000 cases, and on Friday, that number was down to 418. On Jan. 19, 360 people tested positive. On Friday, 34 people tested positive.

“The test positivity rate and we’re way down that means right now we are at five percent. For every 20 people that get tested only one will test positive. That’s way down from a month ago where we were at 30 percent across the state of Georgia,” he said.

MacArthur says even though it may seem like there’s less virus around, we should still stay vigilant to keep the virus at bay.

“Everyone should get vaccinated. If you continue to socially distance if you are concerned, that will help as well,” said MacArthur.

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