Gov. Kemp says we can’t fight virus from home as cases tick up

More than 45,000 COVID-19 cases reported in Georgia

Barry Lennon, Operating Partner of J. Christopher, hangs up signs to promote dine-in service now available in the J. Christopher restaurant on April 27, 2020 in Brookhaven, Georgia. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images) (Jessica McGowan, 2020 Getty Images)

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said that he wants to lift more restrictions on businesses as long as people continue to heed coronavirus guidance from officials and public health experts.

The governor’s comments on Wednesday came as state data shows the number of new daily infections trending upward after weeks of decline.

“We can’t keep fighting the virus from our living room,” Kemp said, according to video of his remarks posted online by WMAZ-TV. Kemp was touring a temporary medical pod setup at a hospital in Macon.

Georgia has had more than 45,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from the state Department of Public Health.

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported at 1 p.m. Thursday that the state’s caseload reached 45,070, an increase of 649 cases in a span of 24 hours.

Since Wednesday afternoon, 55 additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported, bringing the statewide death toll to 1,962 as of Thursday afternoon, according to the health department.

In the six Southeast Georgia counties tracked by News4Jax, there have been 570 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths.

View the chart below for a full breakdown of Southeast Georgia counties:

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

More than 100,000 people in the U.S. have died.

Kemp said that using common sense and following health advice, including social distancing and wearing masks, will allow Georgians to get out of their homes safely and help spur the economy. He said people should patronize businesses that follow health restrictions and sanitation guidelines.

A seven-day moving average of confirmed cases provided by the health department shows the number of new daily cases in Georgia declining between April 22 and May 11, then beginning to trend back upward.

Georgia was one of the first states in the nation to allow businesses including tattoo parlors and bowling alleys to reopen in late April, despite warnings from public health experts that the move was too soon.