Friday’s COVID-19 update was particularly grim as the Georgia Department of Public Health reported 107 additional deaths in the state attributed to the virus. That tops a previous one-day record of 100 back on April 7.
Georgia reports 3,442 people have died in the state since the pandemic began. Nine of those were in Southeast Georgia -- six in just Glynn County, which has been hit particularly hard in recent weeks.
There were 4,813 new cases in Georgia in Friday’s report -- the state’s second-highest one day count. Glynn County added another 41 cases, Ware County added 25.
Earlier this week, Gov. Brian Kemp said he hoped the state’s case count might be plateauing and renewed his call for Georgians to “Do four things for four weeks” to combat virus transmission. Those include voluntary mask wearing, social distancing, hand-washing and following current state rules such as limiting crowd sizes.
Despite a court fight by Kemp to prevent Atlanta from ordering mask-wearing and otherwise going beyond his executive orders, other local jurisdictions continue to adopt mask orders. On Tuesday, DeKalb County commissioners approved an amended mask ordinance that requires people older than 8 to wear a face covering in public.
County CEO Michael Thurmond said in a statement that the amended ordinance is “consistent” with Kemp’s executive order. The county will allow “conscientious objectors” to opt out if they present a sworn statement in court that says they won’t wear a mask for health, religious or ethical reasons.
The ordinance says a written warning will be issued for the first violation, while a second violation will require attendance of a COVID-19 prevention class. Failure to attend the class is punishable by a $250 fine.
In Columbus, a judge ordered people to wear masks in some government buildings, with the city-county government saying the judge was allowed to do so under Kemp’s order that otherwise bans local officials from requiring mask usage on public property.