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OUR VIEW: COVID-19 is out of control

Troup County is currently in the middle of its worst COVID-19 outbreak since the summer and has been for several weeks. But Friday’s COVID-19 numbers from the Georgia Department of Public Health had alarm bells going off in our head.

In case you missed it, there were 105 new cases of COVID-19 in Troup County reported on Friday, the second most ever reported in our county in one day. And honestly, comparing Friday to the previous time (June 23, when there were 116 reported cases) isn’t completely fair either. In June, a lot of those reported cases were related to the mass testing at the Troup County Jail.

As we write this, we’re unaware of any mass testing that took place in Troup County recently, and so is GDPH Public Information Officer Hayla Folden.

It’s really hard to calculate exactly how many active cases there are in Troup County at one given time, but there have been 493 new cases in Troup County over the last 14 days, so that’s a fairly good estimation.

To add a bit more on that, 281 of those new cases were in the last seven days (Jan. 4-10).  That’s 40 cases a day.

If that average remains, then next week, we’ll have 560 cases over two weeks. That’s almost 1 percent of the entire population of Troup County having known cases of COVID-19 all at the same time.

We understand there are a lot of doubts about the virus. We get the “where did the flu go” question nearly every day, and we’ve done our best to answer that.

We also understand that there’s a political divide in this country unlike one we’ve seen before. We know people don’t trust the vaccine, based on our recent survey (and national surveys and stories).

And we know how hard it is to worry about a virus you can’t see, like COVID-19.

But this is a very alarming time in our county right now. We need to take every precaution we can to prevent spread of this virus, and it’s not only for ourselves and the ones we love. It’s also for our overworked hospital staff, who is doing its best to serve this community.

Please wear a mask and social distance. Take this virus seriously, especially right now. Numbers are out of control and climbing.