Two new cases of novel coronavirus and one additional death were reported in Ware County, the state Department of Public Health reported Monday evening.
Of the six Southeast Georgia counties tracked by News4Jax, Ware County has been hit the hardest, with a total of 133 cases reported and 37 people hospitalized. The death reported Monday was the 12th coronavirus-related death in the county.
The statewide death toll reached 1,244, an increase of 65, as of 7:25 p.m. Monday, days after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp allowed a statewide shelter-in-place order to expire. Kemp is extending his emergency powers to June 12 and telling the elderly and medically fragile to stay at home until then.
A total of 19 deaths have been reported in the region, which has 311 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Across the state, infections have been confirmed in 29,442 people, an increase of 771 new cases when compared to Sunday evening’s report.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, 5,537 people who tested positive for COVID-19 have been hospitalized. Kemp tweeted Sunday that 964 ventilators were in use on Sunday, marking the lowest day for ventilator utilization in Georgia. He said there were 1,916 ventilators available out of a total of 2,880.
Volunteers at a Georgia dental college who started using a 3D printer to make nasal swabs used in test kits for the coronavirus are now a major part of the state’s effort to expand testing.
Dr. Jeffrey James says his crew at Augusta University began by printing 300 swabs a day. Now at the urging of state officials, they’re working around the clock to produce 5,000 swabs daily. It’s an example of how Georgia is scrambling to increase testing for the virus after Gov. Kemp has lifted a shelter-at-home order for most people and reopened many businesses. There are some signs of improvement. Georgia had administered 84,300 tests as of April 20. That number is now more than 183,000, as of Monday.
Even with some businesses reopening and a statewide shelter-in-place order lifted, the coronavirus outbreak continues to keep Georgia courts from returning to normal operations. Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton on Monday announced that he’s extending a statewide judicial emergency through mid-June. That means civil and criminal jury trials will continue to be on hold and no jurors or grand jurors will be called to serve.