COVID-19 contributed to the death of 40 Oconee County citizens in 2020, including the December death of a 51-year-old man without a chronic condition. The first case of the novel coronavirus was reported in Oconee on March 22. By the first week of May, the county reported its first death.

Both public and private schools closed in March, transitioning to distance learning for the remainder of the spring semester. Schools opened back up in August. It wasn’t until Dec. 18, just before the holiday break, that OCS reported its highest number of cases, 28 positives and 167 quarantines. December was also one of the deadliest months with about half a dozen fatalities.

On Dec. 28, a little over nine months after that first Oconee case, a total of 1,567 county residents have contracted the novel coronavirus, according to the Georgia Department of Health.

Currently, only healthcare workers are being given the Pfizer and Maderna vaccines per CDC Tier 1 guidelines. Urgent Care of Oconee is now offering the Maderna vaccine. 

For more on this story, see the Dec. 31 "Year in Review" edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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