Coastal Empire’s rural counties see first COVID-19 cases

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Health officials report there are more than 3,800 cases of COVID-19 in Georgia as of Tuesday morning.

In the Coastal Empire, some rural counties are starting to see their first cases.

On Monday, the Coastal Health District (CHD) reported the first case of the new virus in McIntosh County.

Tuesday, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) rolled out new numbers including two Appling County residents, one Jeff Davis County resident and one Screven County resident with coronavirus.

Each of the counties has a population size between 13,000 and 18,000, based on recent reports from the United States Census Bureau.

In Chatham County, with a population estimated at more than 290,000, the number of cases has risen to 25 with two deaths.

State and local health officials have said for weeks now that it isn’t necessarily a matter of if but a matter of when many will see a COVID-19 case in their area.

And CHD has urged that people “not focus so much on the exact number, but recognize that the virus is here.”

Still, many counties have yet to take emergency action against the coronavirus.

Even Gov. Brian Kemp has pointed to rural areas when discussing his reasoning for not issuing any lockdowns in Georgia.

“In Jeff Davis County — I know two days ago they didn’t even have a single case down there — and you have people saying: ‘Look we need to be working. I’m worried about losing my home. I’m worried about getting meals for my kids,’” the governor said during a statewide town hall last week.

“Those are the kind of things that we’re balancing,” he added.

DPH is expected to update the COVID-19 cases and deaths at 7 p.m. To see the latest report, visit here.

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