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OUR VIEW: COVID-19 case numbers continue to drop

A year ago, it felt like we needed to update COVID-19 number several times a day, as new figures were released in the morning and evening hours.

The pandemic has just become a normal part of our lives now, and although we update it in story form fairly regularly, we often find ourselves going over numbers in this editorial space. That’s because the numbers continue to be worth celebrating as we draw closer and closer to a possible end of this pandemic. To be clear, there’s a long road ahead, but so much progress has been made.

The Georgia Department of Public Health lists Troup County as having 60 total cases the last two weeks combined. During the height of this pandemic locally, we were over 60 cases a day on average, so that number is meaningful.

Our seven-day moving average is currently four, which means if we keep this pace, our two-week total will continue to drop with every passing day. Four still isn’t zero — the ultimate goal — but it’s a lot of progress toward it.

As a state, Georgia is also under 1,000 new cases a day on average, which is more good news. Maybe one day we’ll be down to double figures statewide, but for now triple digits is a big win.

While still lacking statewide compared to most other states, 30% of Georgia citizens are now fully vaccinated. Troup’s number is slowly but surely improving too, as 18% of Troup citizens are now fully vaccinated.

We know many people are back to living life in a normal fashion, ditching masks (especially those fully vaccinated) and believe this thing is completely over. Let’s hope they’re right, but we think it’d be naïve to think so at this point. Experts say it isn’t and still warn of a surge if we let our guards down. The virus is still running rampant in other countries, such as Japan, where very few are vaccinated and the Olympics will take place this summer.

The U.S. is still seeing more than 30,000 new cases a day too, which is much lower than the 200,000 a day average reached at one point, but still very significant. For comparison’s sake, it’s about where we were last May.

Hundreds of people are still dying each day in our country.

So, no, it’s not over, and we urge you to remember that when out and about. However, it is improving, and it’s currently looking better each day.