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Hours cut for testing

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District has 27% increase in cases; Jones up 30%

  • Hours cut for testing

The increase in cases of the novel coronavirus has slowed since last week but remains at 30%, higher than the 13-county North Central Health District’s rate of new cases at 27%.

Even as neighboring Bibb County sees a 36% increases in cases, up to 1,673 Monday, including 306 hospitalizations and 42 deaths, the NCHD slashed hours available for testing effective Tuesday.

Those hours are now 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Jones County. Testing is available in Macon-Bibb County Monday through Friday, also 9 a.m. to noon.

Testing will be available in Jones County July 25 from 9 a.m. to noon. Testing is also available July 26 by appointment. Those are the only weekend hours currently advertised by the NCHD for Jones County. For more information, call 844-442-2681.

Monday’s announcement of reduced hours attributes the change to summer heat and the safety for both patients and staff.

The rate of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 has increased for Jones County. As of July 5, 706 tests were administered. The rate of positive cases is reported at 8%. But, looking at the past three weeks, the 21-day positivity rate for tests in Jones County is 16%.

Unlike many counties in the NCHD, Jones County is not designated as an area of concern. A total of 7% of emergency department visits were categorized as symptoms of COVID-19.

Jones is still considered an area of substantial spread by the weekly NCHD report despite slowing the rate of new cases.

In the past week, total confirmed cases of COVID-19 has increased from 103 on July 5 to 134 on July 13. The 30% increase includes nine hospitalizations, up from seven last week, but no deaths have been recorded.

The district has seen a 27% increase in cases from 3,750 on July 5 to 4,752 on July 13. That includes 751 hospitalizations and 193 deaths, a rate of 4.06%.