By Joe Johnson
The coronavirus death toll in Athens-Clarke County has risen to five, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Monday afternoon status report on the spread of the deadly disease that has shut down schools and businesses and has people sheltering in place at their homes nationwide.
The DPH identified the Athens residents who died as a 60-year-old man, a 79-year-old man and a 78-year-old woman, all of whom had underlying medical conditions, an 89-year-old woman with no underlying conditions, and a 78-year-old victim for whom the gender was not provided who also had an underlying condition.
The total number of cases in Athens-Clarke increased from 35 Sunday afternoon to 41 on Monday afternoon.
The DPH updates its coronavirus status report twice daily, at noon and 7 p.m. The novel 2019 coronavirus causes the deadly COVID-19 disease.
Athens-Clarke and nine other counties are within the DPH’s Northeast Region Health District.
The county in the health district with the next most confirmed cases of the deadly disease is Oconee, which increased from 10 cases Saturday evening to 11 on Sunday, a total which remained the same at the time of Monday’s noon coronavirus update.
Barrow County has the next most cases, increasing from five Thursday evening to seven the following evening, a number that held firm as of Monday afternoon.
Barrow County is the only other county in the Northeast Region Health District to have experienced COVID-19-related fatalities. One victim was a 66-year-old man and the other was a 91-year-old woman, both of whom has underlying medical conditions, according to the DPH.
The number of cases in Madison and Jackson counties held firm from Thursday afternoon to Monday afternoon, with three and two cases, respectively, according to the DPH.
Greene County increased from having one confirmed case of coronavirus Friday afternoon to three cases at noon on Monday, according to the DPH.
Morgan county remained unchanged from Friday afternoon, holding steady with one confirmed case of the coronavirus.
Elbert, Walton and Oglethorpe continued to have no confirmed cases of coronavirus, the DPH said.
Also as of noon Monday, the DPH reported there were 2,809 confirmed cases of the coronavirus statewide, up from 2,001 cases Friday afternoon.
In that same timeframe, the number of coronavirus-related deaths statewide rose from 65 to 87, and virus-related hospitalizations increased from 607 to 707, according to the DPH.
Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart and lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 and should always consult their healthcare provider if they are sick. Long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and congregate living settings for older people must strictly follow COVID-19 prevention measures to stop rapid spread of the virus, according to the DPH. The DPH stressed that all Georgians play a critical role in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the following guidance:
Practice social distancing by putting at least 6 feet between yourself and other people.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home if you are sick.
For more information on how the coronavirus pandemic is effecting Georgia visit https://dph.georgia.gov/