CLAYTON—Only one new case of COVID-19 was reported in Rabun County over the past week, as Gov. Brian Kemp announced Tuesday that Georgia has reached the lowest number of COVID-19 positive patients hospitalized since hospitals started reporting data to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency on April 8.
One death has been attributed to COVID-19 in Rabun County, according to statistics provided by the Georgia Dept. of Public Health (GDPH).
A second death, a 25-year old male with a preexisting condition, had been identified with Rabun County over the weekend, but was since removed from the GDPH website.
A total of 15 people have tested positive so far for COVID-19 in Rabun County as of press time Wednesday.
Rabun’s death rate of 5.9 per 100,000 population attributed to COVID-19 remains the lowest of any surrounding Georgia county.
Numbers for nearby counties reported by GDPH as of Wednesday morning:
Towns – 21 cases, 1 death, death rate of 175 per 100,000 residents
White – 90 cases, 3 deaths, death rate of 9.4 per 100,000 residents
Habersham – 457 cases, 14 deaths, death rate of 30.6 per 100,000 residents
Stephens – 114 cases, 2 deaths, death rate of 7.6 per 100,000 residents
Nearby Hall County continues to be a hot spot for COVID-19, with 2, 191 confirmed cases, 40 deaths and a death rate of 19.4 per 100,000 residents.
Statewide, there have been 38,855 confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far, resulting in 1,615 deaths, according to GDPH.
A total of 378,156 COVID-19 tests have been administered so far.
Gov. Kemp announced last week that COVID-19 tests are now available to anyone who requests one, though there are no free public testing sites in Rabun County at this time.
At 986 COVID-19 positive patients currently hospitalized, Georgia has seen an approximate 12 percent decrease over the last week with 1,125 patients hospitalized on May 12, and a 34 percent decrease from 1,500 patients hospitalized on May 1.
"Our hospitalization numbers continue to show encouraging signs in our fight against COVID-19, but we must remain vigilant in our efforts to combat this virus," said Kemp. "I continue to ask Georgians to practice social distancing, follow the advice of public health officials, and protect the elderly and medically fragile."
Last week, Kemp issued a new executive order requiring bars, nightclubs and live-performance venues to remain closed through the end of May. He also said existing social-distancing and sanitizing requirements at many close-contact businesses will stay in place through the rest of this month.
Restaurants, however, are now allowed to serve a maximum of 10 patrons per table instead of six, as had been required over the past several weeks. They are also be able to serve 10 patrons per 300 square feet, Kemp said.
Also, summer day camps were allowed to open starting May 14 if they can meet 32 different sanitizing and social distancing rules, Kemp said. Overnight camps will remain prohibited for the time being.
State government employees at some agencies started reporting back for in-person work this week. The General Assembly is also set to resume the 2020 legislative session on June 11.