Georgia passes 165,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19

78 new cases reported in Southeast Georgia

Shannon Hambrick wipes down counters at the post-coronavirus opened Cheeseburger Bobby's restaurant in Martinez, Ga., Monday, April 27, 2020. (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP) (Michael Holahan © 2020 The Augusta Chroinicle)

A day after posting the state’s single-day high with 107 additional COVID-19 related deaths, Georgia added another 53 on Saturday to push the state’s total closer to 3,500 since the pandemic began.

According to data released Saturday by the Georgia Department of Public Health, the state added 3,787 cases, bringing its total to 165,188 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Georgia reports 3,495 people have died in the state since the pandemic began.

Locally, 78 new cases were reported in the six Southeast Georgia counties News4Jax has been tracking during the pandemic. Glynn County added another 34 cases and Camden County added 14.

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.