By Patrick Yost
The first COVID-19 death has been reported in Morgan County by the Georgia Department of Public Health this week as confirmed coronavirus cases continue to rise in the county and across the state of Georgia.
While coronavirus cases have been on the rise in Morgan County, the reported death toll remained at zero until this week. COVID-19 is the highly contagious and potentially lethal upper-respiratory coronavirus currently sweeping across the state, country and most of the world.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) has not released the age, sex, or city of residence for Morgan County’s first reported fatality due to the coronavirus.
The coronavirus pandemic is worsening in the State of Georgia, according to several key studies and trackers.
As of Monday, the Harvard Global Health Institute COVID-19 risk tool ranked Georgia as the top state in the nation for disease transmission rates, with an average daily case rate of 29.9 per 100,000 people compared to the national average of 16. Georgia Tech also reported the State of Georgia has having the highest rate of transmission for the coronavirus in the country. According to the Health Capacity Dashboard from the Department of Health and Human Service, Georgia is leading the nation highest number of hospital beds occupied with COVID-19 patients. Up to a quarter of occupied ICU beds are taken by coronavirus patients.
As of press time on Tuesday, Aug. 18, Morgan County has reported 335 coronavirus cases, 19 hospitalizations and one death. The State of Georgia reported 2,873 new coronavirus cases for the day as of 3 p.m., along with 69 new deaths and 296 new hospitalizations.
To date, Georgia has reported a total of 241,677 cases of the coronavirus, 4,794 deaths due to the coronavirus, 22,133 Georgians hospitalized with COVID-19 and 4,117 Georgians admitted to ICU with coronavirus.
Regionally, surrounding counties are also experiencing an uptick in new coronavirus cases.
According to GDPH, Greene County reported 384 confirmed cases, 13 deaths and 44 hospitalizations. Putnam County reported 502 cases, 18 deaths, and 49 hospitalizations. Jasper County reported 185 confirmed cases, two deaths and 13 hospitalizations. Oconee County has 475 confirmed cases, with 16 deaths and 45 hospitalizations. Walton County reported 1,294 confirmed cases with 43 deaths and 138 hospitalizations. Newton County reported 2,060 confirmed cases, resulting in 50 deaths and 207 hospitalizations.
Combined with Morgan County’s cases, this brings the total regional number of confirmed coronavirus cases to 5,235 and 143 deaths.