ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp has announced the first coronavirus death in Georgia.
He was described in a release as a 67-year-old man who had been hospitalized at WellStar Kennestone in Cobb County. The man had tested positive for coronavirus on March 7.
"In addition to being infected with coronavirus disease, this individual also had underlying medical conditions," the governor's release said.
The governor is conducting a press conference today at 3 p.m. to provide an update on the state's coronavirus response.
COVID-19 has been especially problematic for older adults, particularly those over 60. They have proven more vulnerable to contracting the illness and experiencing it more severely.
The governor's office to date has announced 31 confirmed and presumptive cases in Georgia, 12 of them CDC-confirmed and 19 more still awaiting final confirmation by the CDC.
"Marty, the girls, and I are praying for the family and loved ones of this individual during this incredibly difficult time," Gov. Kemp said in a statement. "I know the medical professionals on site did everything that they could, and I greatly appreciate their efforts. As our state continues to address this pandemic, I urge Georgians to remain calm and support their neighbors and communities. We are in this fight together."
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this individual, and the hospital staff who cared for him,” said DPH Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey, MD, MPH. “Governor Kemp, DPH, the Coronavirus Task Force, and federal partners continue to work together around the clock to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Georgia."
The governor's office provides the following guidance:
If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is important for you to be prepare now in the event of community outbreak of COVID-19. Be ready to stay at home for an extended period to limit your exposure to the virus. Ask your health care provider about having extra prescription medication on hand and stock up on over-the-counter medicines to treat fevers and other symptoms. Be sure you have two weeks of household items, groceries, and water so that you do not have to leave home.
In Georgia, the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low, according to officials. At 11Alive, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia at 11alive.com/coronavirus.
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