Georgia’s coronavirus death toll passed 1,000 on Tuesday a day after the state’s restaurants were allowed to resume limited dine-in service and movie theaters were allowed to reopen under Gov. Brian Kemp’s order to restart some businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
There have been 42 new coronavirus-related deaths reported since 7:30 p.m. Monday, bringing the statewide total on Tuesday evening to 1,036, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
One additional death was reported in Ware County and another death was reported in Pierce County.
Ware County continues to be the hardest hit in Southeast Georgia, reaching 112 confirmed cases with nine deaths and 36 hospitalizations. Pierce County has the third-highest number of confirmed cases in the region (54), three deaths and 15 hospitalizations.
On Tuesday morning, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia reached 24,854, an increase of 636 since Monday night.
Of those testing positive for COVID-19 in Georgia, 4,897 (19.7%) have been hospitalized while 1,110 (4.4%) have been admitted to the intensive care unit, according to state health data.
The state Department of Public Health on Monday night began releasing the number COVID-19 hospitalizations per county. Of the 283 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the six Southeast Georgia counties tracked by News4Jax, 71 (25%) have been hospitalized.
In the region, 17 total deaths have been reported.
In Glynn County, 55 cases have been reported, an increase of two in the last 24 hours, with one death and 11 hospitalizations. Camden County has 31 confirmed cases, one death and six hospitalizations. In Brantley County, 22 cases have been confirmed with two deaths and one hospitalization. And Charlton County has eight cases and two hospitalized patients.
On Monday, some Georgia restaurants reopened for limited dine-in service as the state loosened more coronavirus restrictions, but many eateries remained closed amid concerns that serving in-house meals could put staff and customers at risk.
The dine-in service and movie screenings resumed after other businesses, including barbershops, gyms, tattoo shops and nail salons, were allowed to start seeing customers Friday. While many gratefully opened their doors after a monthlong closure, others did not feel ready yet and stayed closed. A similar mixed response played out Monday.
Kemp issued 39 requirements that restaurants must follow if they reopen, including observing a limit of 10 customers per 500 square feet and ensuring that all employees wear face coverings all the time. Movie theater ushers were ordered to enforce social distancing.
The governor, speaking Monday to reporters, said he hasn’t decided how he’ll replace the state’s shelter-in-place order, which expires after Thursday, even as his public health chief acknowledged Georgia had moved forward without meeting all the criteria laid out by President Donald Trump’s administration.
Kemp also talked about the growth in testing, which is up to 140,223.
For most people, the coronavirus behind the pandemic causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause severe illness such as pneumonia, or even death.