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5 more deaths in Glynn County; Georgia passes 193,000 COVID-19 cases

Nearly one-quarter of coronavirus-related deaths in Glynn County younger than 60

Covid-19 serological tests for passengers of buses coming from Romania are prepared at the Tiburtina bus station, in Rome, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. The Lazio region, which includes Rome, is beginning voluntary tests on passengers arriving in Italy from Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine, with a blood test on finger with results in 8 minutes followed by swab test if result is positive. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Covid-19 serological tests for passengers of buses coming from Romania are prepared at the Tiburtina bus station, in Rome, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. The Lazio region, which includes Rome, is beginning voluntary tests on passengers arriving in Italy from Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine, with a blood test on finger with results in 8 minutes followed by swab test if result is positive. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Georgia Department of Public Health on Sunday reported 15 additional coronavirus-related deaths -- one-third of them in Glynn County.

The five additional COVID-19 deaths in Glynn County bring the county’s total to 34 deaths.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.

But nearly 25% of the 34 deaths in Glynn County have been patients younger than 60 years old. Of the eight patients age 58 and younger who have died related to coronavirus in the county, only two had a known underlying condition

The deaths reported Sunday included a 48-year-old, a 52-year-old and a 58-year-old -- all men and none with known underlying conditions. The youngest reported death in Glynn County was a 34-year-old woman last week who did have an underlying condition, according the state. The report does not list what that condition was. The age of one of the deaths added in Glynn County on Sunday was not listed.

According to the state Department of Public Health, a total of 3,840 people have died in Georgia since the pandemic began.

On Sunday, the state added 3,172 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 193,177 cases.

In the six Southeast Georgia counties tracked by News4Jax, 75 new cases were reported Saturday, including 36 in Camden County and 30 in Glynn County.

As of Sunday, the total number of hospitalizations statewide stood at 19,064 -- 69 of which were reported in the last 24 hours. The state admits the total number of hospitalizations is likely an underestimation since it only counted if it was at the time the case was reported to DPH. The number also does not represent the number of people currently hospitalized.

More than 1.62 million people had been tested in the state, which had a 10.9% positivity rate, as of Sunday.

The latest numbers came as officials in Camden and Glynn counties were preparing for the effects of Tropical Storm Isaias, which could be off Georgia’s coastline on Monday and Tuesday.

On Friday, Gov. Brian Kemp signed two executive orders extending the state of emergency in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. One order extends Georgia’s public health emergency through Sept. 10.

The other order extends existing requirements on social distancing, bans on gatherings of more than 50 people unless there is six feet between each person and other rules about operating businesses and nonprofit groups through August 15. However, the order also makes more than a dozen new claims about Kemp’s executive authority, citing state law and the state constitution, which may be aimed at bolstering his lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the Atlanta City Council.

“The General Assembly has entrusted the authority to declare a state of emergency to the governor and vested him with the sole power to direct and manage the statewide response to any such emergency,” Kemp’s new language reads in part.

Atlanta and other local governments argue they are allowed to order people to wear masks in public and impose other restrictions, but Kemp argues they are not. An emergency hearing on Kemp’s lawsuit was scheduled this week but Kemp dropped the request.

In the meantime, local governments continue to impose new restrictions. Chatham County County Commission Chairman Al Scott on Friday imposed a mask order, in direct contravention of Kemp’s position. The Athens-Clarke Commission imposed new closing times on bars and ordered masks inside them on Thursday and was sued on Friday by bar owners who claim the commission illegally exceeds Kemp’s orders.