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Georgia governor: No plan to close businesses amid COVID-19 pandemic

10 deaths, 287 confirmed Georgia cases of coronavirus in 36 counties

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While giving an update on the state’s number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Thursday afternoon that 10 Georgians have died after contracting COVID-19.

“Our hearts are broken for these families, their friends in the community, and certainly, our prayers go out to all of them,” Kemp said during a news conference.

Kemp said the number of COVID-19 cases has risen to 287 as of Thursday afternoon, and those cases were found in 36 different counties. On Wednesday, he said there were 197 confirmed cases of the virus in 29 Georgia counties.

The governor reminded Georgians not to show up at an emergency room of their doctor’s office unannounced. He said he is not mandating businesses closures or shutting down public events.

“I am however leaning on the advice of medical professionals and scientists, as well as urging local officials to do what is in their best interest in the best interests of their communities, to keep their community safe and stop the spread of coronavirus,” he said.

The governor continued, “I do not plan on forcing businesses to close. If the circumstances change, I will take the appropriate action.”

Kemp said that small businesses in Georgia are now able to apply for the economic injury loans. It’s available online at the Small Business Administration’s website.

The first two cases in Glynn County were reported in the last 24 hours, bringing the total in Southeast Georgia to three. Those two patients were said to be recovering at home while epidemiologists investigate the source of their infections.

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