The COVID-19 vaccine is here, though officials are struggling to get it out to the people who need.

Still, it is being given out and those 65 and older as part of phase 1A+. That includes healthcare workers, such as physicians, laboratory technicians, nurses and EMTs. It also includes police and fire personnel, along with dispatchers and 911 operators.

This phase includes those 65 and older and their caregivers and includes residents and staff at long-term care facilities.

The next phase will be 1B, which is essential workers in non-healthcare fields. The subsequent phase is 1C, which is for those 16-84 with medical conditions that make their chances of getting a severe case of COVID-19 worse.

In the meantime, COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly. Across the state, the number of cases is growing at an all-time high. The rate of new cases is now double what it was back during its summertime peak.

In the last two weeks, the state Department of Public Health recorded 460 new cases in Thomas County. With just under 2,800 cases recorded in the county since the outbreak began now 10 months ago, that’s nearly 14% of all cases, just in the last two weeks. The state DPH also notes there have been 203 new cases in Grady County over the last two weeks, accounting for nearly one-sixth of all cases since the pandemic’s start. 

But until it is time for your sleeve to be rolled up to get the vaccine, be it the Moderna or Pfizer dose, the best way to avoid becoming another case is to wash your hands frequently, clean and sanitize surfaces, keep your social distance and wear your mask.

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