1st COVID-19 deaths reported in Camden, Glynn counties

Georgia’s death toll from COVID-19 hits 881 as confirmed cases near 21,900

File photo (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Gerald Herbert, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The first deaths from COVID-19 were reported Thursday morning in Camden and Glynn counties, health officials said.

A total of 35 coronavirus-related deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours in Georgia, bringing the statewide death toll to 881 as of Thursday evening, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

By 6:30 p.m. Thursday, confirmed infections had risen to 21,883, an increase of 781 since Wednesday night.

The latest report from the state Department of Public Health said 4,154 people -- 19% of those testing positive for COVID-10 -- were hospitalized.

A total of 257 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Southeast Georgia, with 13 deaths. The latest deaths reported were a 76-year-old man in Glynn County and a man in Camden County, who was identified by friends as 44-year-old Lalonee Gibbs, a former school bus driver.

In Camden County, 28 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, while 51 cases have been reported in Glynn County.

Ware County continues to be the hardest hit in Southeast Georgia, reaching 100 confirmed cases, with seven deaths.

Pierce County has 51 confirmed cases and two deaths, while Brantley County has two deaths and 20 confirmed cases.

There have been seven cases reported in Charlton County.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause severe illness such as pneumonia or death.

Georgia Gov. Kemp is allowing elective medical procedures to resume Friday and the close-contact businesses he had ordered closed may reopen, including barber shops, nail salons, gyms, tattoo parlors, bowling alleys and massage therapists.

On Monday, limited in-restaurant dining may resume and movie theaters may reopen.

All the businesses are subject to a list of restrictions including separating workers and enhanced sanitation.

Kemp has defended the move as measured, but he’s been widely criticized, with President Donald Trump saying Wednesday that he told Kemp by phone that “I totally disagree” with the decision.