Georgia surpasses 25,000 COVID deaths

Coronavirus

A wooden cross made from a tree stump, known by some locals as a symbol of hope, sits outside of Phoebe Putney Memorial hospital on Monday, April 20, 2020, in Albany, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – COVID-19 cases in Georgia have steadily decreased since another peak in late August.

But the state reached a grim milestone Thursday, surpassing 25,000 COVID-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 68 new deaths Thursday, bringing the statewide total to 25,042.

Seven of the newly confirmed deaths were reported in the eight-county Coastal Health District, where 1,389 people have lost their lives to the virus. That includes four deaths in Chatham County, bringing the death toll there to 650.

Like cases, hospitalizations are on a downward trend. Statewide, the patient total fell Thursday by about 4%, now at 1,133 hospitalizations total. In Chatham County, hospitalizations dropped from 27 to 20.

Meanwhile, the state’s vaccination rate remains at 50%; Chatham County is at 52%.

The vaccine is becoming more widely available to include those as young as 5. U.S. health officials gave the final signoff this week to Pfizer’s kid-size COVID shot.

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