Troup County reaches record high of daily COVID-19 cases

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 203 new COVID-19 cases for Troup County on Tuesday, the most recorded in a single day since the start of the pandemic, according to health department data.

In the last two weeks, Troup County saw 1,462 cases, meaning at least 2 percent of residents have had COVID-19 over the last two weeks.

Statewide, Georgia saw 25,574 new cases on Tuesday, which is down from Jan. 7 when over 27,000 new cases were reported.

With the rise in local cases, Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center is caring for an average of 60 COVID-19 patients weekly, said Kenneth Horlander, a physician for Emory at LaGrange. He said overall patients’ symptoms have shown to be milder compared to previous COVID outbreaks.

“There’s a lot more cases than in previous waves … on a percentage basis, there’s less severe illness,” Horlander said. “Overall, they’re not as sick like in some of the prior waves like Delta.”

Many new patients are not having to be put on ventilators, he said, and a vast majority of patients are not having to be relocated to the ICU. The majority of new COVID-19 patients being admitted to WellStar for treatment are unvaccinated, he said.

Vaccines are a major contribution to the milder symptoms, Horlander noted. The outbreak of the Omicron is also proving to be less severe for a majority of infected patients. Horlander has continued to encourage his patients to get vaccinated and to obtain a third shot.

“I tell people if [they] have not been vaccinated in the last six months, [they[ need another shot,” he said. “It wears off, so [five to] six months is the time to get the booster.”

Availability of at-home COVID tests are becoming an issue, Horlander noted. They are still an option for those who begin having COVID symptoms. In-clinic testing remains the preferred option for people to ensure accurate and timely test results, he said.

“I think there’s going to be more false negatives …” he said. “With home tests, there’s going to be several things with them. Some of them are not as good with Omicron, and I understand authorities are working on that and trying to figure out how to tell people not to use certain tests, but they haven’t gotten to that point yet. Second, it depends on the person doing the test and how well they swab. Different tests have different ways of swabbing, so people should follow directions as best as they can.”

For those who receive negative results with at-home tests, Horlander suggests retesting every three days, especially if symptoms persist.

To find the locations and times to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 test, visit the GDPH website at dph.georgia.gov/covidtesting.