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Cases rise heading into Easter Weekend

The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the state reached 11,483, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s noon update on Friday. Gov. Brian Kemp has extended the current public health emergency through May 13.

Only four counties in Georgia are without a confirmed Coronavirus case: Evans, Glascock, Montgomery and Taliaferro. There have been 2,351 hospitalized across the state and 416 reported deaths. Dougherty County remains the hardest hit region in the state with 1,062 confirmed cases and 67 deaths.

Decatur County’s case count is not rising nearly as rapidly, but rising nonetheless. A total of 26 confirmed Coronavirus cases have been reported to the GDPH. Memorial Hospital and Manor opened a drive-thru location Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week for easy sampling of patients who were instructed by their healthcare providers to be tested. MHM has completed 125 tests total, with 18 positive results. Other private healthcare providers around Bainbridge have reported cases as well.

With more and more positive test results rolling in, Gov. Brian Kemp strongly encouraged all Georgians to use online or call-in Easter services this Sunday.

“I greatly appreciate faith leaders across our state who have made the tough decision to stop the spread of COVID-19 by suspending in-person religious services. Their leadership is literally saving lives,” said Kemp. “To all Georgians celebrating Easter this Sunday, I am pleading with you to not attend any services in person. If you attend worship services in person, you risk exposure to coronavirus, potentially endangering your life, the lives of your neighbors, and your loved ones. I know this decision is difficult, but we will get through this together.”

Many churches in Bainbridge have switched to online streaming services for Sunday worship.

Unfortunately, as the confirmed cases rise, the unemployment claims continue to rise as well. Almost 400,000 Georgians filed for unemployment claims last week, more than three times the number of claims filed the week before and more than were filed during all of 2019, according to the Georgia Department of Labor. Most of the new unemployment claims were from workers in food and service industries. A total of 6.6 million claims have been filed across the nation.