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The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has passed the 2,500 mark across Georgia while deaths from the virus continue to rise.
As of Monday at noon, the number of cases had risen to 2,809, with the number of coronavirus-related deaths now at 87. Officials say 707 patients are hospitalized due to the virus.
Of the cases confirmed since testing began, 57 percent of patients were between the ages of 18 and 59. Thirty-five percent of patients were 60 or older.
As of Monday, more than 12,000 tests had been performed in Georgia, according to DPH. Out of Georgia's 159 counties, health officials say 121 have at least one case of coronavirus.
|COVID-19 Confirmed Cases By County:||No. Cases||No. Deaths|
|*Based on patient county of residence when known|
According to the Georgia Department of Health, the youngest person to die from the virus is a 29-year-old Peach County woman. The oldest has been a 95-year-old Baker County man.
DPH says it is working closely with the CDC, and state partners to respond to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S., including Georgia. The goal is to quickly identify cases of COVID-19 and take the appropriate public health action to reduce its spread and protect the general public.
Public health officials have urged social distancing to slow down or stop the spread of coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults who are 60+ and people with serious medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, are at higher risk of getting very sick from coronavirus.
Georgia Coronavirus Hotline: 844-442-2681 available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order Monday, telling all groups "at risk" of contracting the coronavirus to shelter-in-place. The groups affected by the order include people living in longterm care facilities, have chronic lung disease, are undergoing cancer treatment, have a positive or are suspected to have a positive test, or who have been exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
All public schools in the state were ordered closed until Apri 24. Public gatherings have also been limited to no more than 10 people in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
"These measures are intended to ensure the health and safety of Georgians across our state and I would ask for everyone's cooperation over the next two weeks," Kemp said.
Officials in Dougherty County and Athens-Clarke County are ordering residents to stay home unless they’re going to work, buying food, seeking medical care or exercising.
“Drastic measures must be taken to decelerate the spread of COVID-19,” Albany Mayor Bo Dorough said at a news conference Friday. “We anticipate the results of the more than 1,000 tests we have conducted will confirm we have hundreds of people in Dougherty County with the virus.”
Multiple Georgia cities have imposed nighttime curfews and enacted "shelter-in-place" restrictions for all residents. Atlanta and multiple suburbs have banned in-restaurant dining, limiting eateries to takeout and delivery service, as well as closing bars, theaters, bowling alleys and other gathering places. Tybee Island banned visitors to beaches, as well as the open consumption of alcohol.
Georgia has opened at least 13 drive-thru locations for virus testing and plans more. Kemp says priority for tests is being given to those at highest risk — the elderly, people who already have chronic illnesses, those in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities and first responders such as paramedics.
Best prevention measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.