Local COVID cases continue downward spiral

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for older people despite a recent downturn in COVID cases across the country, including locally. The suggestion, the FDA said on its website, is meant as a precaution for the country’s most at-risk citizens.

The additional booster suggestion follows the emergence of a sub-variant of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, BA.2. This sub-variant of omicron has estimated to be more than half the recent coronavirus variants circulating in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, like the original omicron variant, this variant, while highly infections, poses fewer complications compared to the original strain.

COVID-19 cases have continued to decrease throughout the country since January. The CDC reported 38,322 cases in the United States on March 28. The last peak in cases reported in the United States was when more than one million new cases were reported in early January.

Dr. Kenneth Horlander, a physician for Emory at LaGrange, said for the time being, this downward trend is set to continue locally as well.

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported only one new COVID-19 case for Troup County on Tuesday.

As of Wednesday, Troup County had 11 positive cases over the last two weeks, according to data from the Georgia Department of Public Health. The last peak for COVID cases in Troup County was reported by GDPH on Jan. 11 with 200 new cases. Since then, cases began to decline with an average weekly report of 10 cases or less county-wide.

“COVID cases are very low, including the hospital,” Horlander said Wednesday.

The new variant caused resurgences of lockdowns in other countries but does not yet seem to be an issue locally.

“The sub-variant is worsening in other countries does not appear to be a problem for our area as of yet,” he said.