Schools should consider closing as early as Friday, governor says

Gov. Brian Kemp has issued a call to action for local leaders as they prepare their communities for potential impacts from the coronavirus.

During a 3 p.m. press conference Thursday, Gov. Kemp asked school districts and daycares to consider closing as early as Friday. The governor also ordered state workers to telework but said he would not be shutting down the government or closing the capital. 

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Officials confirmed the first coronavirus related death in the state as a 67-year-old man in Cobb County. The victim, who was diagnosed on March 7, had underlying medical conditions, according to the governor's office.

"Marty, the girls, and I are praying for the family and loved ones of this individual during this incredibly difficult time," said Governor Kemp in a news release Thursday. "I know the medical professionals on-site did everything that they could, and I greatly appreciate their efforts. 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."

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults who are 60+ and people with serious medical conditioners, such as heart disease and diabetes, are at higher risk of getting very sick from coronavirus. 

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