Georgia’s death toll from the coronavirus jumped to 10 on Thursday as state health officials also reported a big increase in the number of confirmed infections statewide.
The update from Georgia Department of Public Health more than doubled the number of deaths in the state, which had stood at four Wednesday. The agency said confirmed coronavirus cases now stand at 288 — up from 197 the day before.
No other details were provided about where the new deaths occurred. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp scheduled a news conference for Thursday afternoon.
For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.
On Wednesday, Emory Healthcare in Atlanta had reported a death. The patient died “despite the heroic efforts of our physicians, nurses and care team,” Emory said in a statement. No other details were released.
Health officials also announced Wednesday that two women had died from the virus in Dougherty County. They were ages 42 and 69, and both had underlying medical conditions, the Georgia Department of Public Health said in a news release.
State officials confirmed Wednesday that two COVID-19 patients died in southwest Georgia, one of the hardest-hit areas outside metro Atlanta from the global outbreak.
The news came as state Sen. Brandon Beach, an Alpharetta Republican, announced he had been diagnosed with the coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness, sending Lt. Gov Geoff Duncan and Georgia’s other 55 state senators into self-quarantine. Duncan, a Republican, presides over the Senate.