Coronavirus-Georgia-1

ALBANY, Ga. – The number of deaths from COVID-19 more than double in Georgia in 24 hours and state health officials announced 90 new cases on Thursday.

While the Georgia Department of Public Health data does not indicate where the deaths occurred, at least two of the new deaths were reported in Dougherty County, in Southwest Georgia, where 20 positive cases are reported. Emory University in Atlanta reported a death overnight.

There are now 287 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported at midday Thursday. The state said 53% of the patients are men and at least 35% of them are age 60 or above.

The first two cases in Glynn County were reported in the last 24 hours, bringing the total in Southeast Georgia to three. Those two patients were said to be recovering at home while epidemiologists investigate the source of their infections.

One issue for health care workers and others who need to be on the job is child care, with more than 800 of Georgia’s 4,500 licensed child care centers reporting they have closed. The YMCA of Metro Atlanta and the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning announced Wednesday that 17 YMCA child care centers would solely offer care to children of health care workers, with most sites having room for 80 to 150 children.

While more than half the known infections were in metro Atlanta, confirmed cases and deaths continued to hit disproportionately hard in Dougherty County in southwest Georgia. Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany reported four total deaths Thursday, with the state reporting 20 confirmed infections in the county of about 90,000 people.

A large outdoor music festival in Atlanta has been postponed until the fall, joining Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, the Masters golf tournament and other large-scale events sidelined by coronavirus concerns. Organizers of the Shaky Knees Festival on Wednesday said that event featuring headliners the Black Keys, the Strokes and Smashing Pumpkins is now set for Oct. 16-18.

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