LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the number of Troup County residents that are fully vaccinated is 26%, only a 2% increase in the last month. Public health officials worry that as the school year approaches that number will only continue to rise.
“I’m really not sure why people are not getting vaccinated. Some people just don’t want to put this vaccine in their body but I can tell you because we have a low vaccination rate we’re seeing an increase in COVID infection rates,” said Hayla Folden, the Media Relations Specialist for District 4 Public Health.
According to DPH, Troup County has the highest number of confirmed cases out of all the surrounding counties with 44 new cases over the weekend. Nearby, Meriwether County only has 14 confirmed COVID cases and Heard County has 10 confirmed cases. Folden said large gatherings and celebrations are a main contributor to the rise in confirmed cases.
She said the number of cases will continue to rise until people begin to get vaccinated. She also said she fears going back to when mass numbers of people were getting sick which ultimately lead to fatalities.
“That’s what really bothers me is that death and extreme sickness can be prevented and it’s not going to be. People are going to choose to not wear a mask and not avoid crowds and they’re going to get sick and they’re going to continue to spread it,” said Folden.
She believes children will be safer in school where there is constant cleaning and social distancing. She said parents and students should discuss the mask optional option to ensure they will stay safe this school year.
She also credits major holidays as a contributor to the rise in confirmed cases. She said people should expect to see a rise around Labor Day and Thanksgiving.
“You can expect this to continue when we have large gatherings and people are shoulder to shoulder. This is how it spreads,” said Folden.