ATLANTA – Gov. Brian Kemp and the Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday morning that a 67-year-old man who had tested positive for coronavirus last Saturday has died at a hospital in Marietta.
The man also had underlying health conditions, the state announced.
“I know the medical professionals on site did everything that they could, and I greatly appreciate their efforts,” Kemp said. “As our state continues to address this pandemic, I urge Georgians to remain calm and support their neighbors and communities. We are in this fight together.”
The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Georgia has risen to more than 30 in about a dozen counties, including two on the Florida-Georgia border.
At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Kemp said there will be no statewide mandate for closing schools, but urged local communities and schools that feel that it is prudent to close as early as Friday and remain closed for two weeks.
Kemp also suspended non-essential travel and was implementing telework for most state employees and suspended visitation to state prison. He said he was not closing the state Capitol and ordered emergency funding freed to deal with the crisis.
Kemp also urged Georgians to help protect the elderly or people with underlying health conditions — those most vulnerable to the disease — by doing shopping or other errands for them while so their contact with the public can be minimal. He was doing the same with his mother.
State military officials say more than 100 passengers from a cruise ship are now under quarantine at a Georgia air base. So far, 124 passengers from the Grand Princess are undergoing a two-week quarantine at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Cobb County, northwest of Atlanta, CDC spokesman Bert Kelly said.
The ship docked at the Port of Oakland on Monday after spending days off the California coast while quarantine plans were made after some of its passengers and crew members had tested positive for the virus.
Georgia’s 31 cases are spread across the state, from Floyd County in northwest Georgia to Charlton and Lowndes counties near the Florida line, according to an update late Wednesday from Gov. Brian Kemp’s office. Other cases are from Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Fayette, Fulton, Lee and Polk counties.
Some of the tests still await confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A string of large events were canceled this week. Among them: Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, called off for the first time in nearly a century.
For most people, this coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, but for a few, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illnesses, including pneumonia.
The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
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