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Two additional COVID-19 cases confirmed in Dawson County
Statewide total: 1,525 cases. 48 deaths.
Photo courtesy of Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 in Dawson County on Thursday afternoon, as the number of cases and deaths from the novel coronavirus continues to climb in Georgia.

According to the GDPH's noon COVID-19 status report on Thursday, confirmed cases of the virus in Georgia rose to 1,525 overnight, including three cases in Dawson County. DPH has reported 48 deaths and 473 hospitalizations statewide from the virus. The DPH is updating totals at noon and 7 p.m. daily, and the number of deaths has now reached 48, with 473 more hospitalized.

Thursday's increase, along with almost 300 additional confirmed cases reported Wednesday, “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 211 known cases. A total of 166 cases are still listed in unknown counties by the GDPH.

On Thursday Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order banning in-person instruction and closing public K-12 schools through April 24. On March 16, Kemp had ordered schools closed from March 18 to March 31. Thursday’s executive order extends those closures.

Brian Paglia contributed to this report.