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Officials correct Dawson County COVID-19 total, only two cases confirmed
Photo courtesy of Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Georgia Department of Public Health officials have removed a previously confirmed case of COVID-19 which was reported during the GDPH's noon status report on Thursday. 

According to District 2 Public Information Officer Dave Palmer, due to an error that was entered into the COVID-19 database, Dawson County was reported as having an additional confirmed case of the virus. 

As of noon on Friday, March 27, only two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Dawson County. 

Statewide numbers of COVID-19 cases grew to 2,001 by noon on Friday. The number of deaths has now reached 64 statewide, with 566 more hospitalized.

The department is updating totals at noon and 7 p.m. daily.

Friday afternoon marked the largest daily increase in confirmed cases in Georgia, an increase that “is in part reflective of improvement in electronic reporting efficiency from commercial laboratories," the DPH said in a statement. "These reports often have sparse patient data and DPH will be working to complete these records, so data will change over time.”

Nearly three-quarters of counties in Georgia now have a confirmed case of COVID-19, led by Fulton with 307 known cases. A total of 217 cases are still listed in unknown counties by the GDPH.

The increase comes a day after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp defended not issuing a statewide stay-at-home order during a televised town hall Thursday night.

The Republican governor extended an order to keep public schools closed earlier Thursday. Kemp has also ordered bars and nightclubs shut, banned gatherings of more than 10 people and ordered those with serious medical conditions to shelter in place.

But he has resisted calls to take more restrictive action like ordering all people to stay at home or shutting non-essential businesses, and instead left those decisions to local governments. That’s led to a patchwork of various restrictions and orders that have sprung up from cities and counties across the state.

Asked during a televised town hall event Thursday night why he has not ordered people to stay home, Kemp said he had to balance the needs of all across the state, including counties that had no reported cases, and consider the implications on jobs.

“I still have arrows in the quiver if you will, if things get worse,” Kemp said as he urged Georgians to follow local orders and adhere to social distancing practices.